This is my sister

This is my sister

Country: Italy
Year: 2006
Duration: 62'

The true story of Jane and her son Alvin, both of whom are HIV positive. When Alvin gets sick, his mother dedicates herself entirely to taking care of him and thus loses her job and all her hope. Luckily she gets support from her sister Martha, a contagiously upbeat woman who hopes to open a beauty salon. The main characters in this African story are the people who actually experienced it: Jane, Martha and Alvin Kinyanjui. "I had 8 weeks to become more acquainted with the health situation in Kenya, find my protagonists and start shooting. After two weeks of meeting with sick people and social workers I realized it would be impossible to find a family willing to be filmed during the most delicate moment of their lives. […] Without the courage, the energy and the good humour of Jane and Martha we would never have been able to shoot such a difficult film in 6 weeks. This work has moved and entertained me; I hope it will be the same for the spectators, otherwise I won't have been worthy of my marvellous actresses." (G. Piperno)


film director

Giovanni Piperno

(Rome, 1964) worked as a photographer and assistant cameraman in movies and commercials; in 1997, he began making TV programs and documentaries. His films include L’esplosione, which won the Doc competition at the 2003 TFF and was nominated for a David di Donatello; This Is My Sister, which won the Avanti! award at the 2006 TFF; and Cimap! Centoitalianimattiapechino, which was presented at Locarno and won the 2009 Libero Bizzarri award. Il pezzo mancante (2010), about the Agnelli family, won the Cinema Doc competition at the TFF, while his next movie Le cose belle (2012), co-directed with Agostino Ferrente, participated at the Venice Film Festival and later won twenty-five national and international awards. The collective film 9x10 novanta (2014), produced by the Istituto Luce for its ninetieth anniversary, participated at the Giornate degli Autori in Venice and that same year he collaborated with Antonietta De Lillo on the documentary Let’s Go, out-of-competition at the 2014 TFF. In 2015, he presented the short films Se avessi le parole and Quasi eroi at the Rome Film Fest; this latter movie also won the Silver Ribbon for best short film. In 2017, he made the video installation L’energia degli italiani for the Italian pavilion at the Expo in Astana, Kazakhstan, and in 2018, the web series Ogni santo 23. In 2020, he presented the short Come si scrive ti amo in coreano in Rome and that same year he taught documentary directing at the Gian Maria Volonté Film School.


Ebrei in Sudafrica (coregia Laura Muscardin, cm, doc, 1992), Black Taxi (coregia Laura Muscardin, cm, 1993), Mosè a Bombay (coregia Laura Muscardin, cm, doc, 1994), Bananine unipolari (cm, doc, 1997), Il mio nome è Nico Cirasola (mm, doc, 1998), Intervista a mia madre (coregia Agostino Ferrente, mm, doc, 1999), Verdi Suprême (cm, doc, 2002), L’esplosione (doc, 2003), This Is My Sister (mm, doc, 2006), Cimap! Centoitalianimattiapechino (doc, 2008), La danza delle api (coregia Giulio Cederna, mm, doc), Il pezzo mancante (doc, 2010), Le cose belle (coregia Agostino Ferrente, doc, 2012), Miracolo italiano (ep. di 9x10 novanta, 2014), Chiedi a papà (serie tv, doc, 2015), Almost Heroes (cm, 2015), Viale Giorgio Morandi (2017), Lamiya (cm, 2019), Voci a domicilio (cm, 2019), Come si scrive ti amo in coreano (cm, 2019), Cipria (2021).