What is it about? Bad stories, Italian film by the D'Innocenzo Brothers, winner of the Silver Bear in Berlin? Let's explore this dark fairytale, which faces the ineluctable fate of the Roman suburbs.
Oh, but do you know that an Italian film won the Silver Bear in Berlin for the best screenplay? It comes out on April 17, we absolutely must go and see it.
So I spoke in a very distant time, the one where I made plans for the future, before Covid and before an April 17 that would never have happened. I was talking about a film of which I knew almost nothing at the time, except that it was Italian and that it had won a prestigious award for the screenplay, which is particularly dear to me, but of which I will never know enough.
After doing a first search on Google, I discovered that the film had a title, Bad stories, and which had been written and directed by the D'Innocenzo Brothers. A dark fairy tale like those of the past, written as it once was by a pair of brothers.
It was enough for me to wish that April 17 to the point of marking it on the calendar. And today that I finally saw that film, I am even more sincerely sorry than on April 17th for Damiano e Fabio D'Innocenzo never came, relegating Bad stories the world of streaming (legal or not legal) and on-demand.
The "first first work" of the D'Innocenzo Brothers: The land of enough
Bad stories, to put it with them passwords of its authors, it is the second first work of the Fratelli D'Innocenzo.
The "first first work" is called The land of enough, 2018, Nastro d'Argento to the best new director. A film that, citing Federico Pontiggia, "Has a single, serious problem: having arrived late on the ground of the suburbs of Italy today, primarily Roman and criminal", and which is not without its flaws.
But it is those same flaws that make it captivating, that gives history that roughness which so well reflects the topics covered: habituation to evil, indifference and inevitability.
The "second first work" by the D'Innocenzo Brothers: Bad stories
It is always theineluctable to stay, in many ways, the center of Bad stories. It is a slow burn film in which, even before having clearly grasped where you are going to parry, you feel sucked in, dragged towards something still undefined, but certainly very undesirable. A feeling amplified by thunder that from the beginning we feel in the distance and that they get closer and closer.
[Tales] it is inspired by a true story.
The true story is inspired by a false story, the false story is not very inspired.
So the narrator (Max Tortora) introduces us to what we are about to see. It is a story that moves its steps from diary of a little girl from the Roman suburbs, found after being abruptly interrupted. Hence a story in which the reported facts merge with the imagination, choosing the path, so dear to directors of the caliber of Lars Von Trier (who also applied it in the very recent Jack's house), of the unreliable narrator.
Not an autobiography, but an idea of the world and the Roman suburbs
Like the brothers D'Innocenzo themselves report, Bad stories it is not an autobiographical story, but it is still based on theirs childhood, on the idea of the world that the two had created together growing between Tor Bella Monaca and Torvajanica. And in fact, the screenplay was born, and then remained substantially unchanged, when the two boys, now thirty, were still just nineteen years old.
Bad stories tells of a suburb where the adults they are mediocre at best, orcs at worst. Adults who show their children a reality made of envy, anger, resignation, sometimes bestiality. A reality in which even the spectator feels trapped, unable to see an escape route.
Never children di Bad storiessilent judges of their parents' actions, they found the trail of breadcrumbs by themselves which will take them out of the forest. A terrible and painful road, but for them preferable to the condemnation of the mediocrity they feel imposed on them.
Why see Bad stories?
Bad stories it's a movie that deserves to be seen. If you don't want to miss another great performance by Elio Germano. And if you have always appreciated the dark side of fairy tales. If you love stories with multiple reading levels. If you like to deal with narrators who don't apologize for putting you in discomfort.
Or just, trivially, to say you've seen a different Italian film from those we are used to usually.