by Vittoria Scarpa
A man on his deathbed recounts his life and experiences to his son in what should be a film teeming with flashbacks, seeing as how the man is Tiziano Terzani and the theatre of his adventures are Vietnam and its devastating war, Mao’s China, Ghandi’s India and the Himalayas.
Instead, The End Is My Beginning [+], an adaptation of the bestseller by the great Italian writer and journalist, directed by Jo Baier, is a long dialogue between father and son, noteworthy performances from the leads (Bruno Ganz and Elio Germano), a theatrical film shot in one setting: Terzani’s real house in Tuscany, where he spent his last days among the pristine countryside and mountains, talking to his son Folco about life, disease and death.
The choice was a decidedly courageous one, and it paid off thanks to the intensity of the cast, the quality of the dialogue, and viewers’ awareness that they are watching an authentic and in some way illuminating adventure. “More than a film, it’s a unique experience,” said Germano, who to portray Folco spent two months at the Terzani’s house “in contact with the stars, mountains and wind, and collecting chestnuts”.
The challenge pays off also thanks to the total lack of melodrama. Everything is measured, restrained, like Germano’s emotions. Though his gazes and silences, the actor expresses the undeniable conflict of a son towards a larger-than-life father, as well as his curiosity and the desire to understand his parent.
Produced by Collina Film Production and B.A. Production in collaboration with Beta Film and RAI Cinema, The End Is My Beginning is released in Italy on April I by Fandango on 60 screens, after having garnered 230,000 admissions in Germany.
|international title:||The End Is My Beginning|
|original title:||Das Ende ist mein Anfang|
|sales agent:||Beta Cinema|
|directed by:||Jo Baier|
|screenplay:||Folco Terzani, Ulrich Limmer|
|cast:||Bruno Ganz, Elio Germano, Erika Pluhar, Andrea Osvárt, Gianni Cavina|
(Translated from Italian)