Alberto, Paolo, Nico and Lisa live in an close, although undefined, future, where immortaltiy is a good that the richer classes of society can simply buy. Alberto is the head of the family, and he entangles his brother-in-law, Paolo, and his children in a very particular enterprise: the organisation of sham funerals.
In an era where time is no longer the yardstick of existence, the most powerful sections of society have lost the emotions and sentiments that come from death, and as a consequence, a sense of purpose in life. Funeral rites merely have the role of keeping an apathetic public of immortals entertained, and to â€œtrainâ€ the muscle of emotion and empathy.
Alberto takes the mantle of compÃ¨re, Paolo assists in the organisation of the ceremony, Nico takes up his role as the corpse, and his sister is a passionless mourner. The funeral takes place on a metaphysical, surreal space. The immortals imitate coded actions, gestures, costumes and choreography under the guidance of Alberto and Paolo. Family dramas cross paths with the Funeral itself, throughout which the conflictual relationship between Lisa and her father, or, more accurately, an acknowledgement of Albertoâ€™s existence - who declined to take part in societyâ€™s immortality programme - as antithetical to that of an immortal woman, who differentiates herself from her class by her sensitivity and humanity.
A moment arrives, however, in which all this is interrupted by an unexpected event: whilst he acts out his role, Nico is trapped in the casket by a couple of immortals, and in trying to escape, he makes the wooden box fall to the ground. The first rule of the show is that the dead never get up; Nicoâ€™s act, therefore, breaks the facade and concludes the performance.The family goes back home to an identified suburb, profoundly changed by this event. Nico, freed from the constraints of his role, lies down on his bed, eyes open, reprising a pose that is all too familiar, yet in this moment takes on a whole different meaning.
DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:
After graduation from a science-based high school in 2006, Della Rocca began his study of physics at the University of Perugia. Armed with a particular interest for astrophysics, he completed his university studies by beginning a Masterâ€™s degree in architecture. Simultaneously, he nurtured his passion for the art of cinema by gaining professional insight and training, participating in Marco Bellochioâ€™s specialist course â€˜Learning Filmâ€™ in 2011. He went on also to participate in the 2016 workshop focusing on â€˜Actors to Charactersâ€™, led by Mirko Locatelli, as well as Venice Biennaleâ€™s â€˜College Teatroâ€™ for young directors, taught by director Christiane Jatahy. Shortly after, Della Rocca continued his artistic formation as a director with his acceptance into the â€˜Film Ideasâ€™ Summer School led by Miguel Gomes, Jonas Carpignano, Maureen Fazendeiro, Duccio Chiarini, Luciano Barisone and Daniele Maggioni. Since 2010, he has written and produced several videos and film shorts, founding Dromo Studio in 2015 with Marco Del Buono. 2017 saw the creation of â€˜Corsa a Termineâ€™, a medium-length film independently created by Dromo Studio, and directed by Della Rocca. As well as his work with Dromo Studio, he works as assistant to the Director Daniele Cipri, for his short film â€˜a phantom in Paris/Un fantasma a Perugiaâ€™. From 2011 to 2015, he also acted as the artistic director for Perugiaâ€™s Retro Film Festival.