After big success with Io Sono Li (Shun Li and the Poet) in 2011, Director Andrea Segre scores agains with La Prima Neve. I first saw Io Sono Io at the 2012 Open Roads: New Italian Cinema in New York City and was very taken by Segre’s insight during the Q&A after the film’s screening.
Previously a documentary filmmaker, he said that he was interested in making a movie about the relationships between immigrants and locals in Italy, and that for the fishermen who used the bar as their “living room”, the woman who served them their coffee became a surrogate wife. The Chinese businessmen who had sent her there wanted her to do her job and keep to herself, creating one of the clashes of culture in the movie.
Originally from Chioggia, Segre said that most of the Chinese in the film were non-professional actors that he found around Chioggia or in Rome, where he lives now. It’s amazing how Italian directors have such a talent for finding ordinary, local people to fill important roles. He talked about how Italy is changing, and that when he was a child in school all of his classmates were Italians but that his children go to school with kids from all over the world.
And watch for La Prima Neve, my favorite film at this year’s Venice Film Festival.