In Zoran, Il Mio Nipote Scemo (Zoran, my nephew the idiot), Pane e Tulipani’s Giuseppe Battiston plays Paolo, a man pretty widely accepted as his little Friulian town’s worst citizen. He’s lazy, selfish, drinks too much, and seems to hate everyone including and perhaps especially the senior citizens in the retirement home that employs him.
When an aunt in Slovenia that he doesn’t seem to remember dies, he Inherits her ashes, a ceramic dog, and a dorky teenage nephew named Zoran, a boy that has spent his formative years playing darts with his grandmother. Zoran’s parents having died, he’d been living with her and had perfected the perfect bullseye.
Paolo’s disappointment over his non-monetary inheritance subsides when he sees the money that could be made in darts competitions and so the drunk and crabby Paolo becomes Uncle Drunk and Crabby. He convinces the boarding school that Zoran was supposed to be delivered to that he loves the boy, and immediately heads for a bar to challenge a dart club to a game.
Zoran, Il Mio Nipote Scemo, won the International Critics Week Award at the Venice Film Festival but I’m not sure that it’s much more than a standard buddy film with a really great actor (Battiston), authentic fringe characters, and a beautiful mountain setting. Though the feel good quality is there, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the minute the camera stopped rolling, Zoran’s life would be pretty dismal if not downright dangerous in his uncle’s care.
But that’s the beauty of a movie, we don’t have to worry about poor Zoran. If we want to, we can assume that he lives happily ever after with the fat old alcoholic and maybe even makes him want to be a better person.
Il Mio Nipote Zoran is available on Italian DVD and though there are Italian subtitles, English ones are not included.
Director: Matteo Oleotto
Writers: Daniela Gambaro, Matteo Oleotto ,
Stars:Giuseppe Battiston, Teco Celio, Rok Prasnikar