Interview with Francesco Patierno



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Interview with Francesco Patierno (Director)

How did you come up with the idea of this film?
My producer had seen a movie called A Day Without a Mexican, the main idea behind the movie was that for one day all the Mexicans in Los Angeles would disappear, causing difficulties to the economic mechanism of the city. So he asked me if it would be possible to use this idea - after having paid the rights of it - to produce a movie in Italy.

I thought about the great potential of the idea, however I also thought that a genius idea was just not enough to make a movie so something came up to my mind. Somewhere in my PC I had saved a video with a speech of a politician from the north talking about immigration in television. His words were so dreadful and painfully funny. This man gave me the inspiration on how to develop the producer's idea.

Why did you decide to do a film about migration and the imaginary disappearance of them?
I wanted to narrate the deceiving behavior that sometimes Italians have towards foreign people. I was not interested in showing that immigrants are important for the economy,  and that without them we will surely have problems, I wanted to reflect about another matter: would we also emotionally miss them if they would suddenly disappear?

Do you think this film helped in terms of the acceptance of immigrants in Italy?
I'm sure that those who saw the movie have reflected a lot about the provocation moved by this story, and that is already a lot for me and a movie.

How was the experience working with Diego Abatantuono, a legend of Italian comedy?
It was great. I was, and still am, his great fan. I wrote the main character's role thinking about him and when he gave his ok I couldn't believe it. It took me a bit of time during the preparation to move from a fun role to the director's one.

Is there any funny or memorable anecdote you remember from the filming days?
I remember that one night after filming, there were Diego Abatantuono, Valerio Mastrandrea, and I in the car looking for a restaurant. At a certain point we got lost and Diego turned on a satnav that spoke with the voice of the "terruncello", the most successful character he had ever performed. It was a man that spoke a funny dialect from the south of Italy. We spent hours laughing so hard until we were in tears!

Did you receive any criticism for portraying a possible scenario of a town without immigrants?
I was surely expecting some critics because I didn’t follow a political approach to migration.

Are you working on any filming projects at the moment? Can you tell us something about them?
Yes, I'm currently working on a very important documentary movie inspired by Naples '44, a book of Norman Lewis. It is a very important project for me and I hope to finish it by June.

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