Ali Blue Eyes

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    Ali Blue Eyes

    Alì ha gli occhi azzurri

    Directed by



    98 min

    • Italian


    Ostia, outskirts of Rome: the beach in winter. Two sixteen-year-old boys steal a scooter at 8 in the morning, then rob a store, all in time for getting to school at 9. Nader is Egyptian, but was born in Rome. Stefano is Italian and his best friend Brigitte, Nader’s girlfriend, is also Italian, but for this very reason Nader’s parents are against the match, and Nader runs away from home. The film describes a week in the life of a teenager who tries to subvert the values of his own family. Torn between his Arab and Italian identity, audacious and in love, like the hero of a contemporary fairy tale, Nader will have to put up with the cold, the loneliness, life on the street, hunger and fear, the flight from his enemies and the loss of his friends, before he can really understand who he is.


    • Jean Carmel Award for Best Actor in a French or European Feature Film (Nader Sarhan) - Premiers Plans Angers FF
    • Mario Verdone Award - Lecce European FF
    • Special Jury Prize, Award for Best Debut and Second Film - Rome FF


    Nader Sarhan
    Stefano Rabatti
    Brigitte Apruzzesi
    Marian Valenti Adrian
    Claudio Giovannesi
    Filippo Gravino
    Daniele Ciprì
    Giuseppe Trepiccione
    Claudio Giovannesi
    Andrea Moscianese

    Director's Statement

    The point of departure for this film was the conflict that Nader experiences, as a human being, before he becomes a character: his practically secret love affair with an Italian girl, prohibited by his own parents and his culture (haram – that which Islam considers forbidden). To get at the truth, we put that conflict on the screen with Hosny and Fatima, Nader’s real parents, and Brigitte, the girl he really is in love with, thanks to their generosity and willingness to represent themselves in a sensitive situation. Another star of the film is the setting in Ostia, Rome’s beachfront: the beach in winter, and also one of the most multi-ethnic neighbourhoods in Rome. Almost all of the story is told through Nader’s point of view; the position of the camera is determined by his gaze, his body,and his actions, in a continuous, dynamic shadowing of the character. But there is no solution to the conflict Nader harbours inside, torn between his love and the haram, and his adopted culture and the one to which he belongs. He is left with the awareness and the richness of his own contradictions



    Fests and Euro arthouses should see the light in these "Eyes."


    Easily the most rewarding of the three Italian films to play in competition at this year’s Rome film festival

    Screen Daily

    Claudio Giovannesi

    Claudio Giovannesi


    Claudio Giovannesi (Rome, Italy, 1978) is a filmmaker, screenwriter, and musician. After getting a Bachelor of Arts, he received a diploma from the Centro sperimentale di cinematografia in Rome. He worked for Rai3’s program Blob from 2001 to 2004. In 2009 he directed the feature film LA CASA SULLE NUVOLE (Jury Special Award at the Brussels Film Festival) and the documentary FRATELLI D'ITALIA, special mention of the jury at the Rome Film Festival). In 2012 he directed his second feature film ALI HAS BLUE EYES, winning the special jury prize and the best debut and second film award in Rome, FICE Award and Mario Verdone Award. The film was also nominated at the Nasti d’argento and partecipated in competition at Tribeca Film Festival. His following film, WOLF (2013), was awarded Special Jury Award at Torino FF. In 2014, Giovannesi participated in the collaborative film 9 X 10 NOVANTA, selected at Venice IFF that same year. His latest work, FIORE, was selected at the Directors' Fortnight in 2016.

    Selected Filmography