“The Man Who Will Come”/ (L’Uomo che Verra) Interview with Italian Director: Giorgio Diritti

August 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

WINNER OF *BEST FILM* and *BEST PRODUCER*  at the 2010  David Di Donatello Awards!

“L’Uomo Che Verra” or “The Man Who WIll Come”, is the second full length feature film by acclaimed Italian director, Giorgio Diritti.  “The Man Who Will Come” is so powerful, beautiful, and well-researched, it is even shot in a rare form of Italian dialect, known as the Bolognese Apennines, which, today, is spoken by very few, all of whom are older than 60 years of age, even the Italian actors had to be taught to speak the dialect. 

Set in a hillside town of Bologna, the capital city of Emilia-Romagna,  in 1944, “The Man Who Will Come”,  accurately depicts the actual tragic murders of 770 civilians by German troops occupying Italy after the fall of Mussolini. Although the film is fictional, yet based on real events, you will be emotionally touched by the character, Martina, an eight year old outcast, who hasn’t spoken a word ever since her newborn brother died.  Poor Martina is confused as to who and why the Germans are wreaking havoc on their small, unsophisticated, rural town, and while trying to make sense of it all, observes human suffering inconceivable to mankind. 

Q: The film is fictional yet based on real events. Discuss the research.

A: Giorgio Diritti: “My intentions were to reconstruct the film in a very detailed way. What I did after that was create a fictional family, they are an invention, however, at the same time, they are very similar to many families that went through this. The historic research that I had to do was very extensive. I went through a lot of the written testimony of people that witnessed these events, and I also met with some of the survivors of the events. It was a huge enterprise. They shared with me, not just their experience of the events themselves, but the emotional impact that it had had on them, and this is something that I tried to be faithful to them while making the film.”

Q: Was it difficult to find actors who spoke Bolognese Apennines dialect or did they have to be taught to speak in dialect?

A: Giorgio Diritti: “Yes, it was hard to find actors who spoke that dialect because in reality that dialect is only spoken by people who are older than 60. In the sort of natural evolution of things, everyone speaks Italian, so this involved having to teach the dialect not only to the child actors, but also to some of the main, older, adult actors as well. With regards to casting the right look, the right faces, it was mandatory that the characters also be able to speak the dialect as well. That dialect is something that marks them as a community, and it also marked them as very strange, unlike other communities. The construction and the use of the dialect is also very important in another sense. They use fewer words to say much stronger and sharper things. In a manner of speaking it was also a way that represented social hierarchy. Some people had more of a right to speak than others, and, of course, the older men in the family had the right to the last word.” 

Q: Please talk about the title of the film, “The Man Who Will Come”.

A: Giorgio Diritti: “The title is a very literal translation from the Italian, which has a double meaning.  On the one hand, “The Man Who Will Come”, is the little boy, the baby, Martina’s little brother, who embodies the host of the poor family. A family which is very anonymous to that area. Many of the other families in the area were very large, while this one was just the little girl, and her little brother who was still in the womb. The other meaning of the title goes to the man of the future, and what society has become since these tragic events, since the bitter hatred of Hitler. What kind of society had we become and are we able to prevent the reoccurence of such awful events. The second part raises a question of whether all the progress we have made with science, technology, medicine, etc, has that been matched by the progress we have made as human beings, in terms of our ability to live together.”  This “Man Who Will Come”, could be any man, in a sense I tried to take from history that each of us in a way should feel responsible.  Just the way, little Martina has to find the strength within herself to live through and survive these events. She has taken responsibility for this child as her own. She takes a certain sense of responsibility that each of somehow has to take away from this. The responsibility to change, to be able to build society, based on the various and co-existence of different ethnicities, and keeping as far away as possible the type of ideology that don’t exist.”

Q: Talk about the very talented, young girl, Martina.

A: “For the part of Martina, I auditioned over 800 little girls.  I was very struck by her simplicity, how thin she was, that she had the right physical features for the part. But as we worked, I was able to see the great ability that she had, not just as a child, but as a real actor. Then any other sensitivity that she brought to the role, the understanding then was that she was able to lend to the character. She did not receive any awards, however, she was nominated as one of the best actresses at “The David Di Donatello” awards, which are Italy’s Oscars. The film, “The Man Who Will Come” won the best film at the awards. So that is quite an accomplishment for a young actor.

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