Up to Down

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    Up to Down

    Giù dal vivo

    Directed by



    74 min

    • Italian


    Naples. Home of the unbowed, of madmen and paupers. A city that refuses to lick anyone’s boots, let alone stoop to pretense. This documentary bad trip takes us on a tour of the city’s dismal eastern suburbs, where poverty manifests itself in environmental brutality: gaping, plaster-deprived buildings, neglected interior courtyards, concrete bleak and ubiquitous. Here we find the homes of the marginalized and rejected: a man, a girl, and a masked boxer – three protagonists yearning for something else, although they’re not quite sure what. Not even echoes of a happier past, remembered in faded footage from family video archives, can lessen the vastness of the social wasteland that is Naples.



    Nazareno Manuel Nicoletti
    Nazareno Manuel Nicoletti
    Marco Messina
    Sacha Ricci
    Nazareno Manuel Nicoletti

    Director's Statement

    Three years ago I had other ideas: Up to Down had another title, I had identified other protagonists and the stories had another focus. I started with film and photography workshops in Ponticelli, in a day center of mental health. And every morning I passed by San Giovanni, Lotto Zero and the public housing blocks. I was looking for something. However I did not want to talk about mentally ill people, at least as I knew them. There is already too much literature, cinema and television which can cloud one’s judgement of mental health. I wanted reality to betray my feelings on the matter, I wanted to surprise myself finding something different from what I already knew. I met my protagonists and I started rolling, letting myself be guided by my subject’s desires and my instinct. Then, during shooting, I realized the film was becoming something else, much more complex. I let in all I could. The film was about the outskirts. Naples, Milan and even Dortmund all look the same. One might believe it is enough to film these spaces to capture everything: the deprivation, misery and pain, but for me there is something elusive. At every street corner you tell yourself that the next junction is the way out; yet the streets suffocate you and always bring you back to the starting point. Like a maze. At the end, In the film we speak only about ourselves. Today I can say that Up to Down talks about an obsession, perhaps my own obsession. Like in the passage of time, like in the everyday life of my protagonists: we find ourselves floating in the present. Back and forth, as if nothing could interfere. As if everything was a false movement.

    Nazareno Manuel Nicoletti

    Nazareno Manuel Nicoletti


    Nazareno M. Nicoletti (1988) was born in Ischia, Naples, and he has a degree in Modern Literature. He has worked as volunteer assistant director for Susanne Bier's film LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED, produced by Zentropa. In 2012 he was admitted at "Reportàge cinematographic" course in the Italian National Film School (L'Aquila). He has made SUONO PIANO: a documentary about the construction of the auditorium in the park of the famous architect Renzo Piano. And then in 2014 he has shot BLACKOUT: a documentary film about the earthquake tragedy in L'Aquila, narrated through the testimonies of nurses, doctors who were at the hospital in the night of the 6th of April. His first feature film, MOJ BRATE, screened at Locarno FF in 2015. His latest documentary UP TO DOWN premiered at KVIFF 2019.

    Selected Filmography