Berlinale: Programme

Film file

Kinderfilmfest / 14plus


An Italian

Der Italiener

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It’s a pretty tall order to ask a six-year-old to suddenly take on responsibility for his own life. Every decision he makes will have an influence on his future, and the questions facing Vanya are really tough: does he want to life a comfortable life as an adopted child of a loving family in Italy? After all, for an abandoned Russian child like Vanya it really doesn’t sound like a bad option. Or would he rather take on the powers-that-be in Russian society?
The latter path would involve a battle against Russia’s feeble adoption laws in a godforsaken part of the country where, for children without parents, adoption offers the only chance for survival. Moreover, there’s plenty of money to be had in selling orphans into adoption abroad. For Vanya to succeed, he would have to get his own way in a cruel world where adults are not about to let a perverse six-year-old prevent them from earning a quick buck. He would also have to defend himself against the avarice of corrupt militias. But, above all, his refusal to allow himself to be adopted by an Italian family would be a decision against his mother’s wishes, who abandoned him in a Russian maternity ward.
The world of children is a universe with its own laws; a realm in which sometimes one’s heart speaks louder than one’s intellect. Vanya decides to set off in search of his mother. But he must first learn how to read so that he can understand the little information he has about her. Vanya embarks on his quest – and encounters a mysterious and dangerous world.

Russian Federation 2005, 92 min


Andrei Kravchuk


Kolya Spiridonov
Maria Kuznetsova
Nikolai Reutov

World Sales

Lenfilm Studios