Leonardo di Costanzo, Italia, 2012


This playful sequence is in contrast to the rest of the film, which is much more serious and dangerous. The characters are not there to play. Salvatore has been hired by the Naples Mafia to keep an eye on Veronica, a young rebellious girl in a ward of a disused asylum that she can not leave. 

Their days are spent in confinement, and in this instance they discover a canoe in the flooded basement of the building. It offers a moment of release from the reality of the life of a prisoner, and a relaxing of the tense relationship that they have shared until this moment in time. For a moment they become children playing with cheerful abandon. Veronica initiates the game. Salvatore is reluctant to join in as he doesn’t like competitive games. Their imaginative worlds of play are clearly different, and relate to their favourite tv programmes.  She knows all the tropes of the ‘desert island’ style reality tv programme, a situation similar to the one they find themselves in at present, in a big building which they can’t get out of.  She plays at first the role of the interviewer and then the role of the interviewee, with great ease. He’s more familiar with nature documentaries and uses the features of the space to evoke a wild African setting. The game allows them to communicate more easily between themselves, in an indirect fashion, than the rest of the film, where the watcher – watched relationship doesn’t allow them to relate to one and other. This playful interlude allows her to wish him success in his chosen profession as a travelling ice cream salesman, which she could not have otherwise done.