Director Edoardo De Angelis won the Pasinetti Prize, awarded by the Sindacato Nazionale Giornalisti Cinematografici Italiani for best film at #Venezia73 and there was a special mention for beautiful young stars, twins Angela and Marianna Fontana.
Just this morning it was announced that Indivisibili will is on the list of films considered to go to the Oscars as best foreign film!
Indivisibili is the story of conjoined twins who have become something of a singing sensation in their area and support the family with the money they earn performing at weddings and first communions. When it is suggested that they could and should be separated, it’s a bigger decision than you might think and affects everyone.
When did director Edoardo De Angelis realize he had such a big hit on his hands?
“The first time I knew was when the screenwriter pitched me the idea; the second was when I met the girls,” says De Angelis.
“They were the body and the soul of the story.”
The girls are 18-year-old twins, Angela and Marianna Fontana, professional singers in real life and new to acting, incredibly. I asked them how they managed to perform so convincingly without acting experience.
“We identified so much with the characters,” they told me. “We read and read and read the script many times; actually before we even read the script we knew we wanted to make the movie.”
They say that they’ve been “living in a kind of symbiosis” their whole life, are very close to each other, and can identify with the pain of separation even though they aren’t physically connected. The story is about “amore veramente indivisibile” (truly indivisible love), they told me, and all three talked about a psychological bond that is even stronger than the physical one.
Having been singers since they were fourteen they aren’t exactly strangers to an audience and the girls want to continue acting. Angela has just been cast in Marco Tullio Giordana’s new film, Due Soldati (Two Soldiers).
Indivisibili was shot in the Fontana sisters’ hometown of Castelvolturno, near Naples, and the unusual dialect of the region made it necessary for subtitles, even for Italians.
“It’s a very obscure dialect,” said De Angelis, “and the idea was to give them a language that was a sort of mysterious code between them.”
So I wondered, if the screenwriters and even De Angelis aren’t from Castelvolturno, how does one write dialogue for such language?
De Angelis told me, “The screenwriters work with a baseline for the story and only later did I decide on the location and I let the words come up from the place.”
“The dialogue came from the situations,” said De Angelis.
This made improvisation important and particularly well used in a scene in which the girls are walking on the sand dunes, and are falling and laughing as they struggle together.
“This role must have been pretty physically demanding,” I said to Angela and Marianna.
“It was!” They cried out in unison. Just imagine spending hours working attached to another person, even if you love them as much as Angela and Marianna love each other.
As do all good directors on a budget, De Angelis used the local color for everything from actors to technicians.
“With the cuts in government funding for cinema,” De Angelis told me, “we have learned how to make films with little money.”
“We talk about reality in our films,” he said, “and they are made with little money, but we are free with the way we make them. Even with the mainstream film distributors we have a kind of freedom to produce the kind of realism that we want to.”
I asked about Antonia Truppo who won played the girls’ mother and won best supporting actress for her role in last year’s big hit Mi Chiamavano Jeeg Robot. I always admire beautiful actresses that are willing to and so successfully take on the parts for unattractive characters, as she does playing Nunzia in Indivisibili. Nunzia is a bad mother on so many levels, is drunk most of the time, and probably not faithful to her husband.
“Antonia’s a great human being,”said De Angelis. “She arrived at the audition with a completely different idea about the character, but after one reading she immediately changed. This showed how really smart and flexible she is as an actress.”