// Presented as part of Filmatique's Opera Prima Italiana II Series //
Spotlight on Gli Asteroidi
Germano Maccioni / 2017, Italy / Locarno, Gent / 91'
Pietro, Ivan and their friend Fabio, aka "Cosmic," live in the once-prosperous Po Valley. Post-crisis, this is a vast and alienating landscape of abandoned factories and petty crimes committed by the infamous Candelabra gang. The 19-year olds resist the authority of their parents and their teachers, and resign themselves to a listless fate of foreclosed opportunities. When news breaks of a large asteroid being monitored by the local astronomical station, the boys become convinced that it will collide with earth and destroy mankind.
Hovering between fiction and documentary and punctuated by moments of vernacular philosophy, Gli Asteroidi portrays a new generation of Italy haunted by the threat of extinction. Germano Maccioni's feature debut premiered at Locarno and Gent.
"Stories of ordinary desolation in the Italian provinces, of marginality… These are wandering people, losers whose life is a boring routine: school, various jobs, bars, motorcycles and go-karts. In their wanderings they often cross a highway overpass that for decades has been protected by strong nets to prevent those foolish enough from throwing stones... An emblem of an existential and generational void that continues in other forms. We are in the pure desolation of the Italian provinces, officially in Bologna but in a universal condition that occurs everywhere in our country, a place of anonymity, of non-place, agricultural landscapes dotted with decommissioned warehouses. A world that has lost its recreational gaze"
- Giampiero Raganelli, Locarno Review, Quinlan Rivista di Critica Cinematografica [it]