The Inner Cage
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    The Inner Cage

    Ariaferma

    Directed by

    Italy, Switzerland

    2021

    118 min

    • Italian

    Drama

    Scope Expanded - Staff Picks

    An old prison built in the 19th century, located in a remote and unspecified part of the Italian territory, is being decommissioned. As a result of bureaucratic holdups the transfers have been blocked and a dozen inmates are left, along with a few guards, waiting to be sent to new destinations. In a suspended atmosphere, the rules that keep them separate are slackened and new forms of relationship emerge among the remaining men.

    Festivals

    Labels & Line Ups

    Credits

    Cast
    Toni Servillo
    Silvio Orlando
    Fabrizio Ferracane
    Salvatore Striano
    Roberto De Francesco
    Pietro Giuliano
    Nicola Sechi
    Leonardo Capuano
    Antonio Buil
    Giovanni Vastarella
    Francesca Ventriglia
    Screenplay
    Leonardo Di Costanzo
    Bruno Oliviero
    Valia Santella
    Cinematography
    Luca Bigazzi
    Editing
    Carlotta Cristiani
    Music
    Pasquale Scialò

    Director's Statement

    Mortana prison does not exist in reality: it is an imaginary place, created out of the experience of visits to many jails. Almost everywhere we found a great willingness to talk, to open up. Sometimes the meetings would be attended by guards, managers and some of the inmates. And it proved easy to create a strange climate of conviviality, with people almost vying to tell their own stories. There was laughter too. Then, when the meeting was over, everyone resumed their roles and the men in uniform, keys in hand, took the others, the convicts, back to their cells. In the face of this drastic return to reality, we outsiders experienced a sense of disorientation. And it was this feeling that guided the making of the film: Ariaferma is not a film on the conditions in Italian prisons. It is perhaps a film on the absurdity of imprisonment.

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    Press

    Touching and well-observed...A tender, if rather sober, prison drama backed by a strong ensemble cast.

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Leonardo Di Costanzo

    Leonardo Di Costanzo

    Italy

    I come from the documentary world, and I used those same methods in my work and research...ultimately, developing a dramaturgy and finding a guiding thread for these many stories was a lot like editing a film.

    Leonardo Di Costanzo was born in Ischia, and lives between Paris and Naples. He teaches at the famous Atelier Varans in Paris and has directed many documentaries, which have been presented and have won various prizes in some of the most important international festivals. THE INTERVAL (2012) premiered at the Venice IFF, where it won 7 awards, and then played at Toronto IFF and many more. THE INTRUDER (2017) premiered at the Directors' Fortnight in Cannes and was awarded at the Seville FF and Cairo IFF. His latest film THE INNER CAGE (2021) was selected at Venice IFF.

    Selected Filmography