I wasn’t looking for freedom. Only a way out. Franz Kafka

In 1917, a short novel by Franz Kafka appeared on a magazine. It is called A Report to an Academy, the story of Mr Rotpeter, a monkey who transformed into a man. During his academical report, Mr Rotpeter talks about his metamorphosys. Mr Rotpeter’s imaginary portrait by Antonietta De Lillo runs two levels: the fragments of the kafkian lesson, as his past, and the interview, as his present. Antonietta De Lillo creates a cinematographic character that brings in universal topics such as freedom and survival, drawing a contemporary portrait of our society. Through her peculiar narration, Antonietta De Lillo imagines a “neapoletan” Mr Rotpeter: he walks through the streets of Naples, in Molosiglio’s gardens, he climbs the stairs of the prestigious University of Naples Federico II, he observes families playing on the grass on a sunday morning in Capodimonte’s wood. At the end he gives to an imaginary journalist a long interview. Though Mr Rotpeter is a fantastic character, between a beast and a man, the power of cinema is to create the illusion of reality. Mr Rotpeter could be an ordinary person one could meet on the street by chance. Mr Rotpeter’s reflections on our times put the spectators in front of a mirror and allow them to reflect themselves with him and his metamorphosys.

Director’s statement
Everyhting started when Marcello Garofalo invited me to watch a theatre performance of the kafkian A Report to an Academy, created and played by Marina Confalone, one of the greatest italian actresses. So I went to see her show in the famous Federico II University of Naples. I started to imagine a contemporary Rotpeter, set in a nowaday Naples, and I wanted to let him free from the written paper and make him alive through a long interview. With all the peculiarities of a fiction film I made my first portrait to an imaginary character born from a writer’s pen. What fascinated me about Mr Rotpeter was his desperate search for a way out. That was my starting point. Together with Marcello Garofalo I started to imagine an integrated Rotpeter, whose achievemet of a way out led him to a survival, not to freedom. Rotpeter is a creature between a beast and a man, he talks about our human condition through his personal experience. Rotpeter is forced to observe and imitate a world that imprison him, in order to adapt and survive. As well as him, we human beings are often forced to adapt to a society that is more and more subdued to economical powers, causing our loss of freedom and humanity. The “neapoletan” Mr Rotpeter fights his own personal cause for survival but, at the end of a long imaginary conversation, he has the need to fight for others too. I believe that we should listen to Mr Rotpeter’s desire, if we want to emancipate ourself from a condition that degenerates our nature. Antonietta De Lillo

UPCOMING  streaming

il Signor Rotpeter Marina Confalone
voce giornalista Aglaia Mora
sceneggiatura Antonietta De Lillo, Marcello Garofalo
produttore esecutivo Alice Mariani
fotografia Cesare Accetta
montaggio Pietro D’Onofrio
musica Gianfranco Plenizio
scenografia Luigi Ferrigno, Mauro Rea
costume Francesca Del Monaco, Martina Picciola
direzione artistica Aldo Signoretti
con il contributo di Regione Campania
in collaborazione con Film Commission Regione Campania Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
colore Colore e B/N