During the Locarno Film Festival I sat down with "Perfidia" writer/director Bonifacio Angius, star Stefano Deffenu, and Sardinia Film Commissioner Nevina Satta. "Perfidia" is the sole Italian film in competition at the Locarno Film Festival where it just had its world premiere.
"Perfidia" : Perfidia Angelo, 35, is unemployed, alone and without passion. He takes comfort in a bar, dreaming of meeting a girl with whom to start a family. On the death of his mother he rediscovers his relationship with his father, Peppino, who had forgotten him.
Locarno Film Festival’s Artistic director Carlo Chatrian describes "Perfidia" “turns the father-son relationship in a provincial city like Sassari not so much into a model of the absence of relationships, but a prism through which we can read a country that has stopped communicating and is contenting itself with survival.” The filmmakers refer to it as a simple and universal story shot in Sassari that could take place in any city of the province of Italy. Bonifacio Angius states, “Knowing the places of the film makes the story even more authentic.”
Nevina Satta describes the project as truly independent with a budget of approximately 300,000 euros, and partially funded by the Sardinian film commission, in-kind donations, free locations, and grants.
Kouguell: What inspired you to make this film?
Angius: It comes from what I experienced myself and the need of telling a story about this moment in history. It was also caused by my own personal fears. I thought about what would be the worst thing that could happen to me, which would be the destruction of my family. The protagonist, Angelo, is my worst nightmare.
I belong to my protagonist’s generation. it’s a very shared and common fear. My generation gets not only moral support from their families, but economic support. The fear of losing one’s family is not only the fear of getting lost; it’s the practical support, so you combine the deep pain of that loss with a total lack of certainty.
Kouguell: The father and son relationship is powerful, painful and believable.
Angius : I didn’t want to cheat; I didn’t want to use any cinematic trick or artifice. This was a painful process in the writing and realization of the film. When you are visualizing your character, this pain had to be kept as real and true as I could. For me authenticity was a necessity.
Kouguell: What is the significance of the film’s title?
Angius : It’s a title that fits perfectly with the story. The title doesn’t refer to the characters; it refers to the world they live in. It’s what’s behind and underneath a controlled situation; the negative emotion. In the beginning of the film, Angelo is very sad, lonely and has a lot of emptiness inside. He is very passive until the final action in the film when he explodes and makes that fateful decision. The Perfidia represented that for the character.
Angius and Stefano Deffenu
Angius and Deffenu were born in Sardinia and they studied at the film school in Florence where they became good friends. In addition to his work as an actor, Deffenu is also a documentary filmmaker and cinematographer, currently working on a film about an Indian tribe of children in Nepal. Angius and Deffenu previously worked together on other projects, including Grace, which Angius directed and the pair co-wrote.
Angius : Our partnership is so tight; we didn’t ‘work’ – when you work with the person you know so well you don’t have to explain things. You don’t have to ask, ‘I want character this way or that,’ with a few words you’re getting what you want. I knew Stefano would be Angelo. I shaped the character from him.
Kouguell: What’s next for "Perfidia" ?
Satta: We are working on distribution deals with both Italian and European distribution. The film is just starting the festival circuit and has just been selected for Montreal and Hamburg. The film was produced by Movie Factory. It was mostly an all Sardinian film below and above the line, which is very important for Angius. You have to give people the chance to work and that’s what their films do.
Award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker, Susan Kouguell presents international workshops and seminars on screenwriting and film. Author of SAVVY CHARACTERS SELL SCREENPLAYS! and THE SAVVY SCREENWRITER, she is chairperson of Su-City Pictures East, LLC, a consulting company founded in 1990 where she works with over 1,000 writers, filmmakers, and executives worldwide. www.su-city-pictures.com, http://su-city-pictures.com/wpblog.