Italian Spotting 1998



Country: Italy
Year: 1998
Duration: 52''

This film tells of problem children and what happens when violence becomes the only way - as senseless and useless as it is powerful - for them to express their own rage, fear, loneliness, and growing pains. From North to South, from South to North, the film seeks out the deepest reasons for this uneasy feeling that creeps around to unite all these teenagers, apparently without a reason. Children, adolescents, sometimes almost babies - our babies - children express their troubles, their feelings of inadequacy against a world that is hardly able to understand them. This is a documentary that is born and lives out of the children's direct experiences and gathers them up in a spontaneous motion - their impressions, sensations, feelings, and voices. The kids tell their stories where they hang out, in the streets, in town squares, in their outlying neighborhoods, in the town centers, and in teenagers' social centers. They do this freely. The filmmaker and cameraperson disappear behind the television camera, deafened by the noisy voices of the kids involved in discussion groups. It is their turn to speak, to express their feelings, to say why, and to make the hardest observations that are the most troubling to accept in their raw authentic nature. The kids come up face to face with the general insensitivity of the adult world, of institutions, and, above all, of the schools, which are ill prepared to counter the devastating force of indiscriminately aggressive behavior, irreverent towards the authorities, and unable to play any role that goes beyond the simple transmission of pieces of knowledge. In the middle of all this are the parents, the fathers and the mothers. They are also adults, but they are hardheadedly hesitant about defending their own children, about looking for answers, and about trying stubbornly to understand them.

"This documentary is a labyrinth. It looks for a way out, but there doesn't seem to be any. The faces are superimposed on each other. The stories follow each other, appear, and leave room on the stage for those that follow. However, the rage and sadness are always the same. The faces change, but the sorrow does not. This remains. It is always the same thing that it is - lacerating and pernicious. And when you feel like you have understood everything, everything is put back into question again. The kids don't know this, but the adults should have" (M. Martinelli).


film director

Maria Martinelli

Maria Martinelli was born in Reggio Emilia in 1958. Starting in 1983 she made short films and documentaries about infanticide, war, immigration and youth aggressiveness, films which have been presented and won prizes at numerous international festivals. From 1994 to 1999 she was the director of "La Palazzina", the Center for Information and Communication of the Comune of Imola, which is active in audiovisual promotion, formation and production. In 2000 she made Gladiatori - Reportage sul cinema hard italiano, which tells of the contradictions and difficulties of a profession that walks the tightrope between work and personal involvement. She directed the feature film Amorestremo in 2001.


Ammutinamenti da sbarco (cm, 1983), Klidas (cm, 1984), Vento divino (cm, 1986), L'Exangue (cm, 1987), Italia 90 - Lavori in corso (doc., co-regia, 1991), Cuori leggendari (doc., cm, 1992), L'uomo coriandolo (cm, 1993), Il profumo del respiro (cm, 1993), Ghertrude (cm, 1995), Pazi Sniper (cm, 1996), I bambini non lo sanno (doc., video, 1998), Decameron (doc., video, 1999), Lachrymae (cm, 1999), Gladiatori - Reportage sul cinema hard italiano (doc., 2000), Amorestremo (2001).


& Credits

Director and plot: Maria Martinelli.
Director of photography: Luigi Martinucci, Anna Bianco.
Sound: Antonio Ricossa.
Editor: Giuseppina Santoro.
Production company: Stefano Mordini e Franco Calandrini - ST/ART, via Quaini 14, 40026 Imola (BO), Italy, tel. +39-542-32421, fax +39-542-22345, e-mail palazzina@imola.queen.it.