The Medicine Seller (second feature)

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The Medicine Seller (Il venditore di medicine)

The Medicine Seller (Il venditore di medicine)

original title:

Il venditore di medicine

directed by:


costume design:


Classic, Peacock Film, Luce Cinecittà, Dinamo Film, Rai Cinema, supported by Ministero della Cultura, in association with Fondazione Eutheca, with the support of Eurimages, RSI Radiotelevisione svizzera, SRG SSR, Regione Lazio, Apulia Film Commission





film run:



HD - colour

release date:


festivals & awards:

Bruno is a drug rep. His company, the ‘Zafer’, is going through a difficult time. So as not to lose his job, Bruno is willing to bribe doctors, deceive colleagues, betray the trust of the people closest to him. He’s the last link in the chain in the illegal yet widespread practice called “detailing”, which pharmaceutical companies resort to as a way to manipulate doctors by convincing them to prescribe their own products and not the competitors’. And while some doctors refuse to go along, many others have no such scruples. Bruno may seem to be a monster, yet he is nothing other than the product of the society around him: he embodies its contradictions, anxiety, corruption and impunity.

Director’s statement
Bruno operates above the moral threshold, immersed in a system of induced needs and a disinterest in society. And he’s not alone: doctors and chemists connive with him, and so do pharmaceutical companies in the ruthless pursuit of profit. Below this threshold are the patients, Bruno’s friends and his wife: normalcy. Everyone’s looking out for themselves these days: their jobs, a lifestyle that will pass muster in society. And more and more often, those who have lost their privileges, and their jobs, above all, will do something drastic. I chose the pharmaceutical setting for the products it deals in: medicines, the last thing that should be reduced to a merely commercial product. And for this setting I chose a drug rep as my main character because he’s a familiar figure, not too far removed from our daily lives: a well-dressed man with a sample case, whom we see in the doctor’s waiting room. He’s “just” a pawn, but in his limited sphere he behaves exactly the way the managerial class behaves in the larger picture.