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Italy Love it or Leave It

.

Gustav and Luca are both Italian. Gustav believes the time has come for them to go abroad too while Luca wants to convince him that there are many good reasons to stay, that Italy is full of passionate and committed people who every day carry on a silent battle to change things for the better.
They agree to give themselves 6 months to see if they can fall in love with their country again. They will go on a journey across their boot-shaped land in an old Fiat 500, in search of emblematic stories, anecdotes, people.


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Running Time: 75 min.
Subject(s): Author's POV, Current Affairs, Economy, European History, Globalization, Humor, Immigration and Migration, Personal Story see all »
Language(s): Italian
Subtitles: English
Director(s):
Producer(s): Gustav Hofer, Luca Ragazzi
Production Company: Gustav Hofer & Luca Ragazzi Film

Press

  • "The most charming, sparkling and playful documentary of the festival..."
    SUDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG
  • "... full of visual inventions ****"
    Guiseppe Ferrante, LA REPUBBLICA
  • "irresistible"
    Alberto Crespi, L’UNITA
  • "...a convincing manifesto of resistance"
    IL MESSAGGERO
  • "...a breath-taking, stunning and poetic roadmovie experience..."
    Fiona Ehlers, DER SPIEGEL
  • "With a light touch. Known almost exclusively by their first names back home, Hofer and Ragazzi have become, with their high-profile films, in some ways Italy's first official gay couple."
    AUSTIN360.COM
  • "I can't help but root for Hofer and Ragazzi to stay in Rome. Italy Love It or Leave It shows them to be talented, convincing storytellers."
    AUSTIN CULTUREMAP
  • "...effervescent... Could make it palatable to a wider-than-arthouse audience..."
    John Anderson, VARIETY

Festival & Awards

  • Brussels European Film Festival, Belgium - 2012
    Audience Award
  • Doxa Festival, Canada - 2012
  • Seattle International Film Festival, USA - 2012
  • Hot Docs Festival, Canada - 2012
  • Honolulu Film Festival, USA - 2012
    Best Documentary Award
  • Festival Cinéma Italien, France - 2012
    Special Mention
  • Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, Greece - 2012
    Audience Award
  • SXSW, USA - 2012
  • Annecy Film Festival, France - 2011
    Youth Jury Award
  • Rio Film Festival, Brazil - 2011
  • Göteborg Film Festival, Sweden - 2011
  • Milano Film Festival, Italy - 2011
    Audience Award

additional materials

  • Film Poster
  • The lieu factice: Performance, Identity, and Place in French and Italian Queer Documentary since 2000, by Oliver Brett

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  • LONG SYNOPSIS

    Luca and Gustav are two young Italians who over the past few years have witnessed the exodus of many of their friends to Berlin, London or Barcelona. Creative, talented people who don’t see a future in their country. They’re fed up with the high cost of living, the lack of job security, the feudal university system, the generally reactionary attitudes and indifference to human rights, the clear sense that you don’t get anywhere just on merit. Tired of a country that appears to be mired in quicksand.

    Gustav believes the time has come for them to go abroad too while Luca wants to convince him that there are many good reasons to stay, that Italy is full of passionate and committed people who every day carry on a silent battle to change things for the better. They agree to give themselves 6 months to see if they can fall in love with their country again. They will go on a journey across their boot-shaped land in an old Fiat 500, in search of emblematic stories, anecdotes, people. A road trip to try and understand what’s left of their country, to unravel why it appears to still have the power to make people abroad dream, to make sense of its celebrated past and uncertain future. They’ll discover a country much divided, run through with contradictions, but on the edge of significant change.

    After their acclaimed documentary Suddenly Last Winter (winner of the Italian Critics Award in 2009 and of a Special Jury Mention at the Berlinale in 2008, and featured in 200 festivals worldwide) Luca and Gustav are back to take stock of today’s Italy, with their signature irony and sarcasm.

    MORE ON FILM

    After the unexpected success of our first documentary Suddenly Last Winter (Special Jury Mention Berlinale 2008, Nastro d’Argento 2009 and featured in more that 200 festivals worldwide) we knew that if we were ever to make another film together it would have to be about something that touched us personally and that we felt was urgent.

    At the end of 2009, when we wrote a treatment to take part in the Documentary Campus Master School (a European program for the development of documentaries which selects 15 projects a year from anywhere around the world and provides training and guidance towards making the projects a reality) our starting point was what was happening in our lives at that moment: we were moving out of our flat in Rome and thinking seriously about going abroad as so many of our friends have in recent years.

    The reasons to leave Italy, especially for people of our generation, are many, and this isn’t the place to go into them. But it’s also true that we have a tendency in Italy to complain bitterly about our country without ever rolling up our sleeves and trying to do something about changing it. When we took our first film to festivals around the country, and were hosted by art house cinemas and cultural associations, libraries and civic organizations, we became aware of what appeared to be a hidden or unknown Italy, that doesn’t emerge on television or in newspapers.

    It seems to us that this is the best Italy, made up of people who fight daily to make this country a better place, despite the political class that misgoverns it. We wanted to render it justice by giving at least a part of it the chance to express itself with its own voice.

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