IL PASSATO É UNA TERRA STRANIERA The past is a foreign land

2008 – colore – 120’


Direction: Daniele Vicari

Screenplay: Gianrico Carofiglio, Francesco Carofiglio, Massimo Gaudioso, Daniele Vicari dal romanzo omonimo di from the same novel by Gianrico Carofiglio

Cinematography: Gherardo Gossi

Editing: Marco Spoletini

Set design: Beatrice Scarpato

Music: Teho Teardo

Costumes: Roberta Vecchi, Francesca Vecchi

Cast: Elio Germano, Michele Riondino, Chiara Caselli, Valentina Lodovini, Marco Baliani, Daniela Poggi, Maria de la Salud Jurado, Romina jr Carrisi, Lorenza Indovina, Federico Pacifici, Antonio Gerardi

Producers: Tilde Corsi, Domenico Procacci, Gianni Romoli

Production: R&C Produzioni, Fandango, Rai Cinema



An excellent law student, the son of bourgeois intellectuals, Giorgio leads the normal and ordinary life of  a 22-year-old guy. No cracks in his existence, at least in appearance, until, one night, he meets Francesco. Handsome and elegant, Francesco exerts his dark and mysterious charm on men and women. He plays cards to make a living, he wins, and he seems to hold in his hands the keys to success thanks to his skills as a cardsharper more than to luck. Gaming tables move from magnificent villas to the lowest taverns and his opponents may be wealthy industrialists as well as wretched people: the result does not change. In a blurred Bari setting, where hidden and turbid environments are the backdrop to a tranquil and reassuring everyday life, Giorgio becomes friends with Francesco and his accomplice.



“(…) based on the novel of the same name by Carofiglio, it is backed by two well-established production companies like Fandango and R&C (besides RaiCinema), and it can rely on Gherardo Gossi’s excellent cinematography. In its own way, it is a “genre movie”: a “film noir” becoming obscure, deep, Dostoevskian, all revolving around the theme of the double.” (Alberto Crespi, L’Unità)

“Unusual and special, a ‘genre’ and degenerate movie, (…) Vicari, an utmost talent, an artist and a fine craftsman, brings the abyss of the “reckless life” and the debate on identity beyond the limit, with no artful catharses or happy endings that justify the means. (…)” (Boris Sollazzo, Liberazione)


2008 Festival di Roma – Competition: Premio L.A.R.A. Award to Michele Riondino

2009 Miami FF:Grand Jury Prize, Menzione Special Mention to Michele Riondino