Romulus & Remus - The First King

see also


click on the images to download them in high res

Romulus & Remus - The First King (il primo re)

Romulus & Remus - The First King (il primo re)

original title:

il primo re

directed by:


set design:

costume design:


Groenlandia, GapBusters, Rai Cinema, with the support of Regione Lazio





film run:




release date:


festivals & awards:

When the river Tiber floods, twin brothers Romulus and Remus are swept away by the water, along with their livestock. They miraculously escape death, but are despoiled of their goods, reduced to slavery and cruelly deported to the flourishing city of Alba. Here, they are treated as animals, and forced to fiercely fight against each others. Romulus, though, comes up with a plan to prevent the fight, and succeeds in the attempt to lead a revolt, and escape together with the rest of the prisoners.
The difficulties and incursions that Romulus and his mates have to face in order to keep their enemies at bay are endless, but Romulus never desists from his intention to cross the Tiber river and lay the foundation of a new and safe city ruled by peace, justice and serenity. In order to bring the god’s protection unto him, he commits a foolish and heroic act, by stealing the sacred fire of Alba, along with its keeper, Vestal Satnei. This unleashes not only Alba’s wrath but persuades some of the men from Romulus’s rebels group that his sacrilege will cause them misfortune and hell to pay.
After Romulus is wounded in a night assault, Remo has to take care of his brother and together fight to accomplish their dream of a new city.
Eventually he becomes the leader of the rebel bunch, and guides it forward with strength and determination, showing good influence on bad fortune. But just when Remus begins to think the gods are back by his side, Satnei foretells a terrible prophecy: the future greatest Empire in history will be named after the brother that will succeed in killing the other one.
To Remus, the Vestal’s words sound like an insult, to which he must react with a display of sovereignty: he must reaffirm his power, silence the gods and their blasphemy, cast the Vestal away and quench the sacred fire forever.
Romulus does not approve his brother’s intentions, because he knows that nothing happens against the supreme will, but when he tries to reach an agreement with Remus, he notices his twin has changed, and he can’t recognize him any longer. Yet, what is it to turn brotherly love into a battle with no holds barred?
Together they walked through arduous roads, inaccessible swamps, no man’s lands, they tried to protect, aid and help each other. But the cruel, sardonic fate will still prevail. From blood, and the most tragic of sacrifice, Rome will rise. Because that’s the gods’ will.

The First King , a tale with no narrative precedents, brings the viewer to an unknown world where the forces of nature and primitive humanity intertwine with the beliefs and superstitions that ruled life at that time. In the Eighth century b.C., the area spanning the banks of the Tiber and the hills of Lazio is occupied only by rudimentary villages. This is a wild world open to exploration and conquest and one day will witness the founding of Rome. Here everybody fights to survive, and the universe of beliefs, mysticism and religion is the only means for men to understand the world. Men are victims of nature and violence. Our characters move in this world, fighting for their life, and fanning the flame of a dream that is bigger than them, a dream of glory and destruction. To become king, the first king, Romulus must annihilate what is most dear to him: his twin brother Remus.
The First King shows with brutal realism the story and the atrocities that brought to the founding of Rome – the city that lies behind one of the longest-standing and most powerful empires of history. It represents the origin of the Western world explored with an eye to his most hidden and darkest secrets. Rome was founded by means of homicides, rapes, and violence. The mythical aura that surrounds the tale of the twins suckled by the She-wolf is nothing but a mystified revision, aptly invented to ennoble the birth of the eternal city. We aim at telling what’s hidden behind the veil of Maya.
A brutal history of men savagely fighting each other, entirely dominated by nature, which they start to bend to their will.