Ciambra
24 November 2017

Ballad in Blood

see also

trailer

original title:

BALLAD IN BLOOD

directed by:

screenplay:

cinematography:

Mirko Fioravanti

costume design:

production:

world sales:

country:

Italy

year:

2016

film run:

95'

format:

HD - colour

aspect ratio:

1:1.85

status:

Ready (01/03/2016)

festival & awards:

It's the day after Halloween Night in an Italian academic city. Jacopo, Lenka and Duke wake up in the student's apartment Lenka shares with her roommate Elisabeth. Jacopo is a student too, Duke is an African-American drug dealer.
The dawn of the new day brings with it a horrible problem: Elizabeth is dead.
Someone has cut her throat. But there's more, neither Jacopo nor Duke nor Lenka remember what happened. They were too drunk and stoned…They do try to get rid of the body, but with disastrous results.
Then, they slowly start to remember to find out Elisabeth has recorded most of that Halloween party happenings on her smartphone. When pieces begin to get in place, we are faced with a nightmare of sex and blood.
In the meantime, Lenka thinks of a plan to pull herself out of trouble.

DIRECTOR’S NOTES:
I have been often considered a director of horror films, one of those generously dispensing zombies and splatter movies. Just to be clear, a film is above all about fantasy and I have nothing against that kind of movies; but I do not belong with them.
Having begun my adventure in cinema with the undisputed master of Neorealism Roberto Rossellini, Reality is actually my real focus. That's why I was struck by the story of a murder remained partially unsolved in Italy; set in a world that revolves around international student exchange program Erasmus; young people from healthy families and different ethnic groups, with normal lives, but collectively and actively falling in a spiral of death and sex.
Even the protagonists of Cannibal Holocaust, the film that made me famous all over the world, were normal people, but they too, just like Ballad in Blood’s Duke, Lenka and James, faced with a certain situation, did what you would not expect. That’s why I look at events that involve people and their indecent choices. Free will, that is what I believe in, in line with my extraordinary cultural tradition: the ability to choose, even if that means absolute evil.
Jacopo is the submissive of the three protagonists. Dominated by Duke and Lenka, his girlfriend. At first, this may mislead us to think he is better than the others. Instead, he is just like them. Lenka is actually a ruthless character. Ruthless in the sense of a glacially brilliant girl who knows how to unleash her sensuality to get what she wants and drag males over on her side. Of course Lenka is from another planet, and in the end she will win.
This film’s strong characteristic is that it’s not a pure thriller. The story keeps its specificity to avoid certain pre-cooked patterns. It begins as a thriller and it keeps many aspects of one, but ultimately it is about three misfits struggling with a story out of the ordinary. The viewer becomes really involved in their reactions while handling the various obstacles that keep cropping up, because, in the end, we do not care who the murderer is. That Elizabeth’s murder is the work of all three, is clear: we are interested in something else. In this perspective, the character of Elizabeth, the victim, with her death, takes on the function of a catalyst with respect to Duke, James and Lenka’s stories. We get know her a little through flashbacks, but she won’t possess a personality of her own, like the other three. After all, good storytelling is about synthesis, taking out what is not necessary, which would only weigh down the flow of the story. This is a "European" film, but not for a moment I thought the audience would have to lose interest, or worse, get bored.