How do you make a film about life in a poor neighborhood of Naples as an outsider? And perhaps even harder, how do you become part of the lives of Italian youths as an adult filmmaker? Director Agostino Ferrente came up with an idea as simple as it is brilliant: he gave teenagers in the Neapolitan district of Traiano a phone to film their lives in whatever way they liked.
The result is a beautifully intimate film in which best friends Alessandro and Pietro constantly keep their cameras in selfie mode and thus take on the role of director in a film about their own lives. The omnipresence of the Mafia and the death of their neighborhood friend Davide, who was shot by the police by mistake, play an important role. But the two youths are also eager to show us that their lives aren’t entirely dominated by crime and violence.
Ferrente’s editing shifts smoothly between heartrending, disarming and everyday moments, from conversations about girls to discussions of the limited prospects for the future, bringing us movingly close to real life.