La paura

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La paura

original title:

La paura

directed by:


Benoit Labourdette


Les Films d'Ici, Compagnia Pippo Delbono, Quidam Production, Forum des Images





film run:



Digi Beta Pal - colour


Ready (16/05/2009)

festivals & awards:

Shot entirely on a mobile phone, La paura is composed of moments caught «on the fly» by the great Italian actor – better known for his work in theatre – Pippo Delbono. Over the course of these sequences, with the graininess so characteristic of those miniature cameras, an incisive poetry develops. There’s also something of a dialogue between the actor’s rotund belly and that Ubu-like Italian TV programme about child obesity in which a doctor, himself obese, encourages children to take physical exercise. But this personal visual diary not only records comical moments, but also speaks to the general state of things in the Italian peninsula – and Rome in particular – and its political culture, so quick to stigmatise gypsies and foreigners. Here, the filmmaker involves himself directly, going to Milan for the burial of the young African boy killed by a father and his son on September 14, 2008, because he’d stolen a packet of biscuits from their kiosk. Pippo Delbono records this so as not to forget this tragic incident that grew out of an everyday moment of racism. Proof is in the «carabiniere» who approaches him after the ceremony, asking him not to inflame the situation. Another shameful moment: the xenophobic and insulting graffiti on a wall, or the endless procession of people living in the street. Switching between solemnity and the anecdotal, the «society of the spectacle» is unsparingly dissected by his mobile phone wielded like a sharpened knife. Like the faces the film captures in close-up, the world exposed is revealed without embellishment or artifice. For the film’s raw material is the truth, a portable and demonstrable truth; that which is assembled by Pippo Delbono’s transformation of that pocket accessory anyone can own into an instrument of freedom.