Ciccone finds Neighbours among Rome, Paris and Helsinki

Article published on Nov. 3, 2008
Article published on Nov. 3, 2008
With a Finnish mother, Italian father and French grandmother, it’s difficult not to grow up cosmopolitan, something Anne Riitta Ciccone knows full well. Today she presented her latest film, Thy Neighbour, in the Extra section of the Rome Film Festival.

After The Witch Doctors and the autobiographical L'amore di Marja, according to the director the new film "came about after the attacks in Madrid in 2004. I was travelling by train a lot, and I could feel people’s fear. I set it in Rome, Paris and Helsinki because I wanted to explore Europe, from south to north, in at attempt to show that beyond the different languages we are all same when it comes to this emotion".

The film follows three characters: flight attendant Eeva (Laura Malmiraava), war correspondent Jean Paul (Jean-Hugues Anglade) and the painter Maddalena (Maya Sansa), all suffering from traumas that condition their relationships with the “other”.

Shot by three different DoPs (Fabio Cianchetti, Pasquale Mari, Fabio Zamarion) – “one for every city, with my vision guiding everything," explained Ciccone – except for just fleetingly in the ending, Thy Neighbour does not give into the temptation of intertwining the stories and destinies.

"My model was not Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu’s Babel. I was interested instead in pointing out the existential assonances and rhymes among the characters,” added the filmmaker, who is working on an adaptation of journalist Mimosa Martini’s book Kashmir Palace.

Made for €2.2m, Thy Neighbour is a majority (70%) Italian co-production – produced by Francesco Torelli for La Trincea, in collaboration with RAI Cinema - with Finland (FS Film, which will distribute the film throughout Scandinavia starting in March) and France (Astra Films).

Gabriele Barcaro