The story of Gianni, who deserts the campaign of Russia during the 2nd World War and is hiding at a family’s in Piadena (North of Italy). There he falls in love with Teresa, but, after the Armistice of ’43, he go back home to the South of Italy. Teresa reaches him there, but is refused: she put a terrible CURSE on him.
Based on a true story, in an ethnographic backdrop of songs from the oral tradition of Italy from: Lombardia (North), Campania (South) and Umbria (Center), including superstitions and rituals of the rural world of Italy of 40s.


Platinum Remi Award at 49th ed. of WorldFest (Houston – Texas 2016)

Merit Awards at Rome Web Awards 2016 (Best Directing – Schettino; Best Supporting actor – G. Tavarone)

Official Selection at Ferrara Film Festival 2016

Official Selection at 16th ed. of TIFF (Tiburon International Film Festival – San Francisco 2017)

People Choice Award at 5th ed. of AIFF (Ariano International Film Festival 2017)

“Impianto narrativo complesso e risolto con scioltezza. Riconosco al regista Schettino un impegno lodevole e una particolare abilità nel valorizzare i mezzi produttivi a sua disposizione” – Luigi di Gianni


40s. Gianni (Raffaele Schettino), drafted in the Russian campaign during the World War II, deserts the Italian army.  Backing to Italy a family in Piadena, province of Cremona (North), gives him shelter. There, he falls in love with the beautiful and mysterious Teresa (Chiara Travisonni). In the confusing situation as a result of  the 1943’s armistice, after promising to Teresa to get married, Gianni decides to come back to Frigento, Irpinia (South), his motherland. There he meets Tina (Alessandra Tavarone), his old love, meanwhile Teresa, having no more communications from Gianni, decides to go to Frigento to seek him.  After her arrival, she finds Gianni and the unpleasant surprise of his betrayal. The woman, by mean of her occult knowledge, canalized her anger into three terrible curses …

Gianni and Tina get married and they have a son. They move to Buonacquisto, in Umbria, where Gianni is employed as policeman; there he meets some miners and Terni steelworkers who have marched against the collective layoffs: he slowly sympathizes with them, but the requirements of his new job, to ensure the order, put him in a serious contradiction. Therefore, Gianni seems to find his tranquility thanks to Mariella (Mara Calcagni), a passionate and emancipated woman, whom he falls in love with. His progressive adhesion to the workers’ instances  contrasts the practical and concrete attitude of his wife, as well as it provokes the Police headquarter reproach. A deep state of stress will lead him to stroke…


The film is based on a true story. The aim was to talk about the “magic world”, following De Martino’s anthropological studies about the rural world, through the oral tradition chants and ritualistic simplicity of human relations. The Magic comes from the observation of the nature, so the human being becomes its mirror, part of it: the songs and the musics are the thin thread that, in the movie, is the witness of this Memory. In the rural world we see the knowledge of the community who, through its rituals, tries to understand itself.

I wanted to make a narrative feature-length, a story about human relations, a simple story. The idea was born at my family’s table, listening to the story about an old uncle: the screenplay, written by Daniele Trovato, began to assume its shape. I have deliberately chosen actors between real people, looking for the spontaneity that made smoother and more realistic the narrative level, through the inflections of the local villages’ dialects. The film is the result of a real “Community work”, which involved the local institutions and associations at various levels, to make the set as a “meeting point”, a magic moment. Instead of talking about the differences between the North and South of Italy, we decided to keep away from the abused stereotypes about the southern peasant misery, comforted by the historical research who evidences a much more varied peasant society at the time.

The backdrop to the story and the true essence of the film are the rituals of the rural world (the curse, the ancestral figures of “masca” and “mammasanta” and the magic formulas), the chants and the music from the oral traditions of Italy (Lombardia, Campania, Umbria).

In the part filmed in Piadena (Lombardia – North of Italy), Roberto Seniga and Leardo Taraschi play the role of Teresa’s father and uncle: they are traditional singers from the Lega di Cultura and they are the custodians of old regional polyphonic chants, with the Institute Ernesto de Martino and the Circolo Gianni Bosio (Coggiola Archive).

The rural world of the South, at the end of World War II, thanks to the support of the historical research at the Ethnographic Museum of Aquilonia “Beniamino Tartaglia”, is told by the music from La Banda della Posta (Vinicio Capossela’s band), describing the traditions and customs from lower Irpinia (Frigento) and upper Irpinia (Cairano, Calitri, Aquilonia).

The Umbrian rural life of the immediate post-war takes place in towns of Valnerina (Buonacquisto, Piediluco, Arrone) and is told by the singers of the historical group “Cantori della Valnerina”. Here we can see the transition from the ancient world to the modern one: the population slowly begins to detach themselves from the country to go to the town, at Steelworks. But people continue to meet themselves through atavist chants from Valnerina and shared instances of the working class. So, in parallel, we have the magic of the curse, symbol of an archaic world, and the political fights, reality of the modern world.

The material of repertoire, thanks to the Workers and Democracy’s Movement Archive (AAMOD), enriches the documention level, giving the opportunity to see the historical background, which the story is set on.