Languages: Italian, Chinese
Director: Andrea Segre
Screenplay: Marco Pettenello, Andrea Segre
Cinematography: Luca Bigazzi
Soundscore: François Couturier
Cast: Zhao Tao (赵涛), Rade Sherbedgia, Marco Paolini, Roberto Citran, Guiseppe Battiston
Runtime: 96 min
Trailer: at the film’s official website, plus some film clips
Film’s official website: Io sono Li (some sections only in Italian)
Seen at special screening at the BFI for the 2011 Satyajit Ray Award, which is given annually for “to the director, of any nationality, for their first Feature Film screened at the London Film Festival which best captures the artistry expressed in Ray’s own vision”. The screening was followed by a Q&A with the director.
Please note: Io sono Li does not yet have a UK distributor – a real pity for a film as outstanding as this one. I tried to do my tiny bit to promote it by reviewing Io sono Li on Otherwhere, if you like the sound of the film, please do like the review and/or share it widely, so that we can get a distributor to notice!
Chioggia, a city on the Venetian laguna, is the hometown of Andrea Segre, the film’s director, and representative of a very traditional Italy: of native fishermen that have been making their living off the sea generation after generation. Evenings are typically spent in pubs, where an older Italian Mamma rules the roost and serves the half-rough clientèle. On a visit to one such pub that Segre had known since childhood days, he found a new, completely alien face one day. Instead of one of the Mammas, who have become an institution in their own right in these places over the years, there was a Chinese woman, plainly signalling a change, a change that had been silently unfolding in the country for while already. The story of Shun Li, one of Io sono Li’s protagonists, found its beginning there, as Segre recounts: Continue reading