Barbers of Italy

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Barbers of Italy (Barbieri d’Italia)

Barbers of Italy (Barbieri d’Italia)

original title:

Barbieri d’Italia


Capetown Film, Iterfilm, supported by Ministero della Cultura, with the support of Regione Lazio, in association with Ludovico Martelli, Toscana Film Commission, Sardegna Film Commission Foundation





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Barbers are part of the Italian traditions. It is a job made of simple gestures and deep human relationships. Perhaps it is also a craft that, through its protagonists, can talk about contemporary Italy. Barbers speak to the mirror, and reflect their wide experience gained over the years. There are the youngest and hipsters who renew the style and along with the oldest, they all shape a philosophy of life which passes through scissors and razors. In the documentary we can see them one by one, in the old squares or on the sea fronts, witnessing a beautiful Italy far from the postcards stereotypes.
Boellis, the most elegant barber, is placed in Naples and he establishes a peculiar relationship with his clients. Since 60 years, at the roots of Vesuvius, there are the Cotena, barbers since three generations. In Turin, on every Friday, the volunteers of Casa Santa Luisa shave the homeless. The youngest of these unlucky people is a Peruvian boy. His smile is worthy more than any kind of consideration regarding the issue of immigration. Tony has arrived in Florence after the war, when he was 6 years old. Now he is 70 and he is most famous client is Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. In Capri there is only one barber left and his name is Pasqualino Esposito. Nowadays his clients have changed. Trough the alleys of Naples there aren’t any longer aristocratic people with dogs on the leash, but new exponents of the international wealth. Nevertheless, Pasqualino stayed the same: a simple man who takes into counts the concreteness and authenticity of his craft. Along the bank of river Po, the barber-musician alternates the razor to the squeezebox, giving out to his clients interesting facts about the history of music. The barber in Testaccio moulds the beard of many young proletarian man of Rome. The woman-barber of Cremona chose this path because when she was a little girl she was used to shave her dad. Another woman-barber is Simona from Sasso Marconi. They both represent the most interesting surprise of this documentary: women determined and strong enough to take away the primacy from their male colleagues.