“I think that the future is a series of tomorrows”, “this creed is both religious and individualistic”, “fear is not what it used to be. It has turned into anxiety”. Believe it or not, these are not the words of great 20th Century philosophers or novelists, but rather, the luminous insights of young Italians, in the year 2021.

In their latest venture, filmmakers Alice Rohrwacher (of Happy as Lazzaro acclaim), Pietro Marcello and Francesco Munzi attempt to coalesce a nation troubled by generational divides, a petrified job market, COVID-19 and pervasive corruption. This is Italy, but not as dictated by the brochures or as glamorised on screen. Shot in Napoli, Milano, Cagliari, Roma, Torino and Palermo (amongst others), Futura sings with the urgency of documentary and the tenderness of great cinema. Rohrwacher, Marcello and Munzi are feather-light in their presence, allowing their subjects to dawdle in thought, to contradict and confound their way towards insight and surprising wisdom. The naturalistic handling of youthful subjects (so often stifled or overwrought on screen) recalls the work of veteran documentary duo Mary Ellen Mark and Martin Bell in their seminal 1984 film Streetwise, which followed the lives of a group of young people living on the streets of Seattle.

Though distinct in content from Streetwise, Futura possesses the same natural command indicative of a trusting relationship between subject and documenter. The film is shot on 16mm, and features vignettes of the young people; boxing in housing estates, lounging by lakes, shifting awkwardly in groups; always centre frame but nonetheless indifferent to the attentive camera.

Between half-cooked aspirations of revolution, unexpected hilarity and moments of reflection, Rohrwacher, Marcello and Munzi construct a vital and timely compendium of modern Italian youth.



DIRECTORS: Pietro Marcello, Francesco Munzi and Alice Rohrwacher

WRITERS: Pietro Marcello, Francesco Munzi and Alice Rohrwacher

SYNOPSIS: Futura is an unexpectedly affecting depiction of modern Italy, through the watchful eyes of its youth. Shot over two years, and hindered by the arrival of COVID-19, the film is nevertheless an expansive and poetic portrayal of hope, uncertainty and joy, that gleams with the charm and candour of its subjects.



About The Author


Freelance film writer. Cinematic interests include (but are not limited to): women in film, women being bad in film, food in films, weird snacks that symbolise something else (a hot is never just a hot dog … or however the saying goes), great soundtracks in films, characters singing in their cars, films about drop-out music geeks that pretend to be teachers in order to live out their fantasy at a local rock gig (yes, School of Rock is in my top 5).