“The last Paradise”, Riccardo Scamarcio: “The importance of freedom”

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Per The last Paradise, the film that sees him in the role of protagonist, screenwriter and producer, Riccardo Scamarcio has chosen to start from the South that flows in its veins and from an Italy that smells of tradition and cultivated land, of the struggle for control and the desire to be reborn to new life. The class struggle, the exploitation of women, the law of the strongest and, above all, the hiring are among the main themes that the film directed by Rocco Ricciardulli and available on Netflix starting February 5th it tries to represent in a precise, crude way, without embellishing in any way a condition that, even today, has its roots so ancient that the present is not so different from the past.

In the Puglia of 1958, between the perched center of Gravina and the soft earth that extends under the olive groves, Ciccio (Riccardo Scamarcio) dreams of changing things by pushing his fellow villagers to oppose those who exploit the weakest to obtain the highest income.

Despite being married to Lucia (Valentina Cervi) and having a 7-year-old son, his heart, however, beats for Bianca (Gaia Bermani Amaral), the daughter of the perfidious and feared landowner (Antonio Gerardi) who has kept the farmers for years under the yoke of violence. «The dynamics of the film are not so different from those of today: only the actors change. If before, from my childhood memories, it was the girls from Brindisi who worked in the fields and were exploited, now the same thing happens to immigrants “explains Ricciardulli, who proposed the script to Scamarcio, taking inspiration from a news story consumed in Matera in the 1950s. “I found two fundamental elements in this story: the disparity of class and the escape from the place where we live” adds Scamarcio who, through Ciccio, the dreamer who would like to build a future far from the country with Bianca, wanted to stage that ‘“Unconscious selfishness” which makes the character three-dimensional, contaminated by the memories of yesterday – how the grandmother crushed the edges of the orecchiette – and the emotional thrusts of today. “Mine is not a return to the earth because I never left here” Scamarcio insists that The last Paradise he believed so much that he delighted not only in the creative part, but also in the productive one.

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To move the pieces of a story that proceeds smooth up to an unexpected twist that we do not reveal to you for fear of spoilers, many small segments of humanity stand out in the middle such as the recitative test by Bermani Amaral, called to interpret a “Modern woman” who seeks redemption, freedom and justice: “She is a woman who does not want to submit to certain rules, and that is why she represents the bridge between yesterday and today” says Gaia with a sense of boundless admiration for her character, a girl who he rebels against the father-master and the violent brother and tries to change his condition in a world where men continued to do with women what they wanted, exchanging them as if they were inanimate objects. The last Paradise, which plays in the title both with the metaphysical dimension and with the surname of the protagonist, it is also an opportunity to bring the protagonists to pronounce themselves on what paradise is for them, together with a certain cinematic militancy – Scamarcio points out that cinema will never die «because it speaks to our unconscious» – which may or may not change a reality that too often appears narrow to us. The last Paradise is a Netflix Original film in association with Mediaset, a Lebowski and Silver Productions production.

Watch our video interview with Riccardo Scamarcio, Gaia Bermani Amaral and Rocco Ricciardulli above >>

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