La malattia del desiderio

original title:

La malattia del desiderio

directed by:


Vincenzo Arena, Francesco Auriemma, Vincenzo Barretta, Salvatore Cacace Luigi D'Onofrio, Luca De Rose, Rossella Garofano, Antonio Garzillo Gaetano Liguori, Carmine Mazzella, Luciana Piccolo






film run:





Ready (01/09/2014)

festivals & awards:

  • SalinaDocFest 2014: Competition - Signum Audience Award, Special Jury Mention
  • Napoli Film Festival 2014: "Vesuvio Award" for Best Documentary

Naples, Fuorigrotta. In the background is the San Paolo stadium and under “Curva A” is Ser.t: a centre for addictions. In this suburb, which on Sundays gets packed with supporters, there’s a place that holds stories of doctors and patients. I have attended Ser.t for more than two years, listening to the voice of those who were trying to get rid of their addiction, a “desire disorder” as defined by the doctors. Each one seems to have their own therapy, even though it often proves to be but a mere attempt...

Stavo lavorando ad un video sul tema delle dipendenze per un esame The first time I set foot into Fuorigrotta ser.t (centre for addictions) I was utterly scared. This feeling has been with me until I’ve decided that all the stories and the people deserved to be given a voice and a dignity. During my last year at University (about four years ago) I was asked, as part of an exam, to shoot a video around the topic of “addiction”: a work that would then be published on the website of the TV programme “La storia siamo noi”. But meeting Dr. Francesco Auriemma, in charge for the centre for addiction in Fuorigrotta and some of the people attending ser.t, made me realize that I should have started working on a broader project. So I decided not to hand in any materials to the university and to start attending the centre more regularly , in order to undersand the dynamics and relationships that to that moment were completely unheard-of to me. My point, before I started shooting, was to depict the world of addiction from the cure standpoint. I didn’t mind going to Scampia, or in any drug-dealing hotspot or even in the so-called “abandoned house” where kids “make themselves”. I chose that place because any addiction there, from heroin to cocaine, to alcohol or even to gambling, was treated as a disorder rather than a vice, too powerful a need to be controlled by a human mind. I haven’t attended any other centre for addictions, and that is also because I found the place where ser.t is, Fuorigrotta, iconic. Right under “curva A”, in a former press-room, built in the 90’s for the World Cup, today is ser.t. When the game is on, that area gets covered in light blue, crowded with supporters, resonating with chants; yet nearly no one is aware that more than 300 users attend ser.t. The film is a choral tale, where the centre itself becomes a scenario for stories and lives. I wanted to try and understand the mechanics underlying the minds of the addicted because I couldn’t relate to them, then, thanks to the meeting of Gaetano, historical patient of ser.t and then with Felice, met at Piazza Garibaldi station, a number of barriers came inevitably to fall. During our long hours chatting I started to see the boys and girls of the centre not simply as patients but rather as friends. I felt that they were no longer looking at me and my camera as strangers. This shift happened gradually even with the doctors, at first only willing to show their better selves. It was a long process of getting to know each other and getting closer, always listening, never intruding. This gave me the opportunity to shoot highly intimate situations, such as conversations between doctors and patients. I didn’t know when the moment would come that I’d stop filming, until Giuseppe, one of the protagonists, passed away due to a relapse. After his death I felt it was time to stop filming. “Desire disorder” is my debut film.