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Silvia Bellotti
Italy, 2017
Production : Parallelo 41 Produzioni, Rai Cinema

French, English


The Institute for Public Housing in Naples employs about 100 people. When the office is open to the public, employees receive residents who live in the 40,000 houses managed by the institute. Their task is to find solutions to citizens’ problems and trigger the bureaucratic procedures to solve them. But managing these chaotic lives within rigid legal structures is not an easy task and employees are often forced to resort to a singular art: “bureaucratic compromise”.

Tënk's film review

In her first feature film, Silvia Bellotti takes us to the dusty, dilapidated premises of bureaucracy made up of offices filled with shelves of files, each containing a universe of incomprehensible laws, insurmountable protocols, stamped and signed registers and regularisation deeds that have never been received. But what Bellotti describes is also a world made up of human beings: the employees, the almost divine ambassadors of an obsolete bureaucracy whose middlemen and women are indispensable, and the users, with their dramas and their tragedies, who are in some ways the victims and some ways the executioners of this bureaucracy. During the two days a week that the office is open to the public, it becomes a stage, and the people exit the rigid scenarios imposed by the institutions to dramatise a Theatre of the Absurd, demonstrating that “without the human factor, the institutions cannot function”.

Claudia Maci
Managing Director of Festival dei Popoli

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Silvia Bellotti

Born in Rome in 1982, Silvia Bellotti is a video journalist. She began her career in Palermo where she worked for a monthly publication founded by reporters from L’Ora, the historic anti-mafia newspaper. She moved to Naples in 2014 to take part in the first edition of FilmaP – Atelier di Cinema del Reale. The two films that resulted were "Il foglio", shown in competition at the Torino Film Festival 2015, and "Open to the Public", her first feature-length documentary. In 2017 she worked with the children of the Magarotto Special School for the Deaf to make a short film called "La scuola del sorriso” (The School of the Smile). The film won the Jury Grand Prix at the Festival Sourd Métrage di Nancy (France).

Other films in the collection: Present Times