The rediscovery of its origins
Arbëria is the denomination of all the geographical areas of southern Italy to which the ethnic-linguistic minority of the arbëreshë belongs. The arbëreshë are originally from Albania and Greece, who arrived in Calabria between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries to escape the Ottoman invasion of their homelands. Albanian emigration to Italy took place over a span of time spanning about three centuries, from the mid-fifteenth century to the mid-eighteenth century. This emigration took place in various waves, although most of the Albanian colonies were founded after 1468, the year of the death of the national hero, Giorgio Castriota Scanderbeg. Migration continued on several occasions over the following centuries, until 1744. Today communities are present in 50 ethno-linguistic islands and 48 localities between municipalities and hamlets located in seven regions: Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise, Puglia , Sicily.
Aida Greco is a seamstress who learned this trade from her father.
The woman lives in a large city, where she opened a fashion atelier, even if she comes from a village at the foot of the Pollino, on the border between Calabria and Basilicata, where the traditions and language of a minority, that of the Arbëreshë.
When Aida has to return to her family's home, to commemorate the death of her father, she relives some conflicts with her brother Ascanio.
Moreover, in her visions with open eyes and in her nightmares, the woman remembers the feeling of shame that she felt for her belonging to this minority.
During this stay he sees his niece, Lucia, a daring twenty year old proud of her origins. A solidarity arises between the two women, made of intimate confessions and a common irony.
Thus, Aida rediscovers her belonging to this people, welcoming that shame and transforming it into something that perhaps can help her understand herself. When she returns to her city, the woman has the right distance to analyze all the emotions she felt during her trip to Arbëria.
A year later, he returns to the family village to celebrate Lucia's wedding. The suffocated feelings of the woman, however, are transformed into a series of nightmares involving the fate of that mountain village and its link with its land.
Born in Tortona, Piedmont, in 1982, Francesca Olivieri made her first moving images at the age of sixteen, with the short film L'Ascensione , selected and screened at the Turin Film Festival in the space dedicated to young talents.
In 2005, he attended an internship with the team of the documentary maker Daniele Segre. On this occasion, he created the opening clip of the magazine of the Bellaria festival. The meeting with the director Michelangelo Frammartino is crucial in his cinematographic training: at the time he was the author of the feature film Il dono , while Olivieri made his short film Lutin . Between 2007 and 2009, she worked at the Cineteca di Milano as a filming operator for the audiovisual archives and on the occasion of the "Invideo" video art festival she was able to deal - among others - with Michel Chion and Robert Cahen. In Bologna, he attended a course for cinema and theater technicians at the Aldini Valeriani Theater and later worked with the Itc Movie company as assistant director.
He finishes his university course of Specialized Degree in Semiotic Disciplines with an Analysis of the political discourse of the film Buongiorno, notte by Marco Bellocchio. The director is personally involved in the work because he participates in it through a filmed conversation, which has become the introductory text of the thesis itself.
He therefore attended the film school of the same author, "Making cinema", and in this experience he worked as assistant director for the short film La tela directed by Sergio Rubini. She is admitted to Marco Bellocchio's screenwriting school, "Writing cinema", directed by Doriana Leondeff, Valia Santella, Gloria Malatesta and Heidrun Schleef.
In France, finally, he trained with Jean Marie Omont as assistant director. There he has the opportunity to work for some productions of the Zodiak Media et France Télévision group, Les Films d'Ici2, La petite Reine, Les Films de l'Avallée, Nereo Films, Agat Film and for the creative agency REMU.
Arbëria is her first movie.
The cast of Arbëria represents the result of a careful selection made not only on the artistic qualities of the interpreters, but also on belonging to the territory, the knowledge of the same and the ability to represent its atmospheres, suggestions and essence.
Aida is played by Caterina Misasi, already known to the general public thanks to the successful television series Un medico in famiglia, I Cesaroni, Vivere, Don Matteo.
The cast also includes the young Italian-Albanian actress Brixhilda Shqalsi, the singer-songwriter arbëreshë Anna Stratigò, the Calabrian actors Carmelo Giordano and Mario Scerbo and the Lucanian interpreters Fabio Pappacena and Antonio Andrisani.
To underline also the extraordinary participation of the young and talented actress Denise Sapia.
Cinematography: Mario Parruccini
Editing: Fabio Nunziata
Music: Luigi Porto
Scenography: Federica Bologna
Costumes: Giuseppe Ricciardi
Make-up: Marinella Giorni
Production assistant: Andrea Solano
Executive producers: Fabrizio Nucci, Nicola Rovito
Produced in collaboration with: Lucana Film Commission, Calabria Film Commission, MiBACT / SIAE, Echoes, BCC Mediocrati
Distributed by: LAGO Film
«The story of Aida Greco is partially inspired by the personal stories of some women in my family.
The filmic subject is obviously personal, I am in my turn a young migrated woman and therefore I hope that this story of human generosity can interest a culturally dispersed audience.
In a complex, fragmented society such as the one we live in, the legacy of a culture with a strong sense of belonging is a valuable asset.
The narration develops on a level of reality and a dreamlike level that communicate incessantly, and where the memories of the protagonist are not elements of chronological reconstruction of the events, but visual suggestions that tell the mystery of the places of history.
The intrigue is that of a dramatic comedy, as well as the tone and color of the characters.
The stylistic layout, however, is similar to that of the creative documentary, useful for exploring the freedom to create a format that remains tied to reality. The goal was to embody a likely story, through the dreams and nightmares of an uprooted individual.
Telling the story of a woman who lives a true longing for belonging is also a tribute to the Hungarian feeling of wanting to find warm ground on which to take root ».