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Friday, September 23, 2016

Director Giovanni Veronesi Kicks Off a Cuba-Italy Partnership with "No Country for the Young"

Update January 23, 2017
"No Country for the Young" will make its U.S. premiere at the Los Angeles-Italia Film Festival on February 9.

"Now is the time when Cuba can become an important co-production partner” said Rome Lazio Film Commission head Luciano Sovena, who recently launched Italy’s top co-production fund between the two countries.

The first production of that partnership is Non è un paese per giovani (No Country for the Young). Directed by Giovanni Veronesi, the film features a great cast that includes Filippo Scicchitano, Giovanni Anzaldo, Sara Serraiocco, Sergio Rubini and Nino Frassica.

I was happy to find a very detailed description of the story in English:

Every year, five hundred thousand young people leave Italy and flee overseas. They call it “brain drain” but among the new emigrants there are a lot of ordinary young people seeking their fortune. Sandro and Luciano are two of them. Sandro, 24, comes from Rome and is curious about his future but he doesn’t have a clear idea yet. He graduated a while ago and he may want to become a writer. He still lives with his parents and works part-time On his first evening shift as a waiter he meets Luciano, who is a little older than him and always earned his living. He has an elegant way about him, but according to his colleagues, looks a bit gay and they can’t help mocking him. Sandro is curious about him instead. Luciano is enigmatic to him. They become good friends after lots of lifts on his moped at the end of the evening shift. Sandro learns about Luciano’s plan. To start up a new business in Italy is a hopeless dream for young people. Now there’s a place instead where everything seems possible. It’s at your fingertips: Cuba. While his friends scrape out a living in London and his girlfriend is ready to start her career in the Silicon Valley, Sandro decides to break up with her and set off for what it seems to be a real adventure together with Luciano. Thanks to Luciano’s ten thousand dollars and another ten thousand, which Sandro asked his father for as a kind of upfront inheritance, the two will be able to open a new restaurant: Cuba is their new aim now.

Upon their arrival in Cuba, they are warmly greeted by Nora, an Italian girl who runs the home where they will live. She has shaved head with a scar, but these is so much more underneath. She is beautiful, confused, incoherent when talking, straightforward and honest. Felipe, a 40-year-old man from Cuba, manages their deal and signs as a partner in the restaurant. In Cuba, foreigners can start a new business only with Cuban partners. As soon as Sandro and Luciano see the wooden shack on a wonderful beach they have already in mind the restaurant it will become. Sandro and Luciano celebrate the event with Nora, who leads them to Havana at night. They end up learning about the world of boxing matches in Havana where Cuban people and foreigners, seeking for strong emotions, face each other no holds barred. As euphoric and drunk Sandro jumps into the fray and risks life and limb. Luciano steps in and saves him showing unexpected physical strength and power. That event will change their lives. Sandro and Nora get closer and closer, whilst Luciano drifts apart. Sandro doesn’t understand what is happening to him as he is very busy with some problems at the hovel. Luciano seems losing more and more interest in the restaurant.

One night Sandro realizes his friend gets back home with injuries on his face. So he decides to follow him. The next day Sandro finds out that Luciano is still taking part into the fights. He likes them and feels good. Everyone calls him “Pavarotti”. He has become famous in that environment. And that’s not all. Luciano takes pills to bear the pain and admits getting them from his friend Nora. Sandro can’t believe it. When he argues with his girlfriend she confirms that. Sandro refuses to listen to reason. He doesn’t want to see them anymore and leaves. When he is about to leave Cuba, he decides to go to the shack. After all, that place is all he has. Sandro can’t sleep that night as he has too many worries. He decides to stay and start a new life on the island. And first of all he decides to start writing his novel. He wants to tell the story of Luciano Capriotti, alias Pavarotti. Sandro spends his days on the beach writing his book. But he soon learns of problems with his father back home, and before long, grave problems with his friend, Luciano, who ends up in the hospital fighting for his life.

The film is currently in post production and will surely feature a rocking soundtrack with Negramaro at the helm. We'll keep you posted when a release date becomes available.

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