Maybe The band of children, the novel by Roberto Saviano, is not the author's best book of Gomorrah But its conversion into a movie, with a script of it Savianohas satisfied the Berlinale with his portrait of the teenagers who are taking to the streets of Naples. In The band of children (Piranhas), the protagonist is one of those kids, a piranha, who decides to lead a clan and make his way in the Camorra. The same Saviano has told in the press conference that there were always children in the clans. "But now, for the first time, we have groups led by children of 14 or 15 years old."
The film, directed with a hyperrealistic pulse by Claudio Giovannesi -responsible for two episodes of the series Gomorra, with what perfectly controlled this universe – with non-professional actors of the city in which it develops, is, according to the writer, the portrait of a world with no way out. "Politics does not leave other alternatives to young people more than to commit crimes or emigrate, and the Italian reality does not help today to resolve these situations." So came Saviano to one of the politicians who have attacked him most, the Italian Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini, "who likes to dress as a policeman". And he went on, to delve into Salvini's threats to take away the escort that accompanies Saviano from Gomorra"I will not let him intimidate me, I will continue calmly, with my work, and telling what happens, and the things that are happening in Italy are very serious". On the protection that surrounds him perpetually, he explained: "Beyond the question of my personal security, the police escort is not a privilege, but a nightmare, there are a dozen journalists in Italy and in general in Europe who also go with an escort. This continent is no longer a safe place for those who denounce deplorable events "
The band of children (Piranhas) is another link in this chain of complaints, although this time it is even more frightening because of the youth of its protagonists, who in a few months go from seeing the neighborhood thugs with fear, to staging their first crime, finding their first love and killing to his first victim. In a sequence, a commander of the camorra, in house arrest, refuses to give him some weapons. Then he retreats: he falsely believes that he will be able to handle those jackal pups, which in the end do not understand either codes or honor. Uncontrollable, they will leave like hungry hordes on the backs of their motorcycles.
In comparison with the thriller by Giovannesi, ni Goodbye to the night, of the veteran French director André Téchiné, that although it is presented in the official section participates out of competition, nor the German Ich war zu Hause, aber …, of Angela Schanelec, They have raised passions. In the first, Catherine Deneuve It embodies the owner of an equestrian school, where her grandson returns to the one he has not seen in a long time. The boy will be a few days before traveling outside France, but what his grandmother does not know is that he has become radicalized and his destiny will be the war in Syria. The best thing is a secondary character, ex-combatant jihadist who tries to convince the twenty-year-old not to leave. And that explains to Deneuve the crux of the question: "I was integrated in my neighborhood, I got good grades, I played Call of Duty … What happens is that France bored me. "No more explanations.
To contest yes it was Ich war zu Hause, aber …, a bet as risky as irregular, very in line with the previous work of its director, Schanelec, who plays with feelings and images. The result: at times interesting, at times irritating.