PerSo Cinema Italiano
By Stefano Deffenu
Italy, 2020, 60’
Wednesday, Oct. 05, Zenith Cinema, Via Benedetto Bonfigli 5, 7 p.m.
Original title: Ananda
Director: Stefano Deffenu
Screenplay: Stefano Deffenu, Bonifacio Angius, Pierre Obino
Cinematography: Stefano Deffenu
Editing: Stefano Deffenu
Editing Supervision: Bonifacio Angius
Music: Francesco Simula, Luigi Frassetto
Production: Bonifacio Angius for IL MONELLO FILM
The personal travel journal of a naive dreamer in search of an ancient legend told by a charlatan. A wander through ancient India, where the passing of time will lead the traveler’s gaze to become confused between the illusion of false truths and the awareness of a lie that seems truer than the truth. The search for a tribe of ghost children, the Ananda, who appear and disappear along a road dense with magic and primitive superstition will lead to the search for a lost dream.
Ananda is my personal search for a peace that I will probably never find. A journey that brought me from Sardinia to the footsteps of the Himalayas. A search that did not end with returning home, but continued for ten long years in a painful voyage that found its catharsis in a mixture of smiles and tears, music and images, divinities, sages, ancient masters and ghosts.
Ten years but still not enough to absorb a gigantic lack. To forget a presence that always walks by my side. My perspective was to make a personal film that elevates documentary film above the usual Western tourist travelogue. In the film, Ananda is not the state of sublime delight of Hinduism, but a tribe of eternally joyful children who have decided to live freely. The search for this elusive tribe constitutes the apparent axis that traces a journey through India. It took a while before the images became films. Perhaps the time that was necessary to metabolize the suffering caused by the disappearance of my brother. Ananda is therefore a journey in search of myself, but also of my brother, who in a certain way I find in the faces of children and in their joyful anarchy. The film puts into circulation a childlike look and imagination, and among the many characters children play an important part, because it is through them that the purity of spirit with which I address the world is embodied. In this regard, Ananda is a kind of Neverland: on the one hand, disbelief in myths and legends is confessed there, and on the other, the need to believe in them. One of the themes of the film is also this. One may think or be convinced that the Ananda do not exist, however, even if they don’t, it is nice to be able to believe otherwise. The theme of the film is the return to a lost childhood, which at the same time is always within us, is part of our life and also of our soul.
In a world where travel is becoming more and more complicated, where contact, handshakes, kisses and hugs are discouraged, a world where the fear of not returning to better days grows more and more, and then the suffering, which increases, and which is reflected in the discouragement and helplessness of parents in the face of such a terrible and complicated problem, especially for children and the world of young people, Ananda is also a gift, which in such a time, helps and which I hope will be a comfort to all the people who will see it. Not to give hope or false illusory hope, but to sweep away that feeling of fear, oppression, fatalism and defeatism that has been growing more and more within us. To become children again, to see the world through their eyes, what we would all like to do again, sooner or later, to be able to dance from morning to night, like the people of Malana. All in a faraway land full of smiles and colors.
Stefano Deffenu was born in Sassari in 1978. He is an Italian screenwriter, actor, and director.
Stefano has been passionate about cinema since childhood and began working as a self-taught in various disciplines of the film industry. Between 2005 and 2009, he directed, wrote and starred in several short films that won awards in National and International Festivals. In 2010 he co-wrote and acted in the medium-length film sa Gràscia, directed by Bonifacio Angius. In 2014 he is known and appreciated by critics and audiences for the lead role in Perfidia, Bonifacio Angius’ first feature film, the only Italian film in competition at the 67th Locarno Film Festival.
In Bonifacio Angius’ film I Giganti, selected at the 74th Locarno Film Festival, Stefano Deffenu is co-star and co-writer. In 2020, he makes his directorial debut with his first feature Ananda, a documentary film produced by Il Monello Film and internationally premiered at the 55th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
Faulas Medley (2005) – cortometraggio
…e poi mi sveglio (2008) – cortometraggio
Il suono dell’acqua (2009) – cortometraggio
Ananda (2020) – Lungometraggio (Documentario)