The Vanja earthquake - Looking for Chekhov

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The Vanja earthquake - Looking for Chekhov (Il terremoto di Vanja)

The Vanja earthquake - Looking for Chekhov (Il terremoto di Vanja)

original title:

Il terremoto di Vanja

directed by:


Vinicio Marchioni, Toni Servillo , Francesco Montanari, Milena Mancini, Lorenzo Gioielli, Nina Raia, Nina Torresi, Andrea Caimmi, Alessandra Costanzo, Andrej Koncalovskij, Gabriele Salvatores, Fausto Malcovati, Letizia Russo, Marco Polci, Dario Polci, Adriana Marinelli, Daniela Polci, Giulia Polci






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What connects two men born 115 years apart? A bond that goes beyond time, a physical journey that is at the same time a journey of the soul. In a word: an obsession. After three years of study with his work group on the life and works of Anton Chekhov, years in which every evening he went back to reading the epistolary, the short stories, the biographies of the Russian writer, on January 24, 2018, Vinicio Marchioni managed to bring on stage, in Narni, for the first time, the theatrical show "un zio Vanja", taken from "Uncle Vanja ", one of the greatest masterpieces of Anton Chekhov in the world history of theater. In the writing of the Russian playwright, Marchioni has found clues and correspondences that talk about himself, his own life, his past and and present as both a man and an artist immersed in the Italian frame in which he lives and works. How is it possible to talk about the immobility and crisis of today's Italy through Anton Chekhov's themes?
This question results in artistic obsession.
A place from which you do not go back.
It's August 2016 when a tragedy that upsets Italy: the earthquake that devastated the center of the country. A few days after the catastrophic earthquake, Vinicio leaves for the Marche region and goes visit his relatives. They have seen their houses collapse. He goes there to be useful, to help. And the bleak scenario that awaits, is a blow to the heart, a shot in the eyes but above all a blow to his soul. And as the pain flows, an idea emerges from the sight of that debris, an epiphany that shows him some aspects of the work he's been doing, in a way he never would have expected.
Back in Rome, together with Milena Mancini and the playwright Letizia Russo, he works on the theatrical adaptation, trying to superimpose the image of the late Nineteenth century Russian theater, on the Twenty-first Century Italy, also overlapping the dead of the Russian plague in the late 1800s, with the crisis and the deaths from the devastating earthquake that occurred in L'Aquila in 2009 and central Italy in 2016.
The crisis and the themes of the Russian playwright are thus conveyed to the themes and crisis, economic, moral and cultural, of contemporary Italy. Those ruins that still stand out before his eyes become the ruins on which the staging is prepared.
The show was successful, also thanks to Francesco Montanari's Performance (Montanari who once again goes back to acting with Marchioni, after the success of the tv series “Romanzo Criminale”), thanks to Milena Mancini's performance (who also worked as the costume designer of the show) and to all the other actors who joined this project with love and dedication.
Marchioni, though, felt like that success sounded hollow. After almost four years he felt like he had lost his track.
Going deep into such an immense author can mean undertaking a much bigger, and dangerous trip.
Obsessions must be pursued to the full. After the tour, Vinicio Marchioni decided to get on an actual train and start another journey, this time a real one, to go in search of Anton Chekhov.
The journey of the documentary film begins here.