Babis means toad and this is what the Italian immigrant were called in Marseille. They're dirty, they smell, they're bigots, beggars and thieves, scabs, and murders: they are babis, the Italian immigrants in Marseille. There were two hundred thousand at the beginning of XX century in the South of France.
Nowadays, two street artists, an Italian and an Algerian, set off from South of Italy for Marseille, France, in the footsteps of italian immigrants.
Their journey is real and yet dreamlike, taking place in the streets or on the stage of the little portable theatre, where the words of the Italian immigrants' bring the lively string-less puppets to life.
DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:
NICCOLÒ MANZOLINI was born in Milan in 1979.
He moved to Bologna in 1998 and started working in the audio-visual field. He attended the IpotesiCinema school (founded by Ermanno Olmi) for three years. Since 2001 he has worked for the Municipality of Bologna and the Bologna Cineteca, organising various projects such as editing, filming and graphics. These projects included Due o tre cose che so di Renzi, Fotografi d’ardimento and Quando Bologna aveva un porto.
In 2008 he worked for the post-production an restoration lab L’Immagine Ritrovata as postproduction supervisor on the HD restoration of Marc Scialom's film Lettre a la Prison on behalf of the Film Flamme collective, Marseille.
In 2008 he founded his own production company, SeiperdueBABIS!. Co-produced by Batoutos (Marseille), Artimedia (Bari) and Artimedia (Bari); funded by CNC France, Region PACA, Cineteca di Bologna, Apulia Film Commission, Fondazione Del Monte and ACSE France2010 COSÌ LONTANI COSÌ VICINI documentary on students’ integration in – and early withdrawal from – vocational schools in the Bologna area; within the project Seipiù, sponsored by the Fondazione del Monte Bologna.2008 IL TRASFERIMENTO, on the design and moving of the administrative offices of the Municipality of Bologna to the new premises on Piazza Liber Paradisus.2007 L’IDEA DEL MARE, starring Fernanda Pivano, a work by Marco Nereo Rotelli, presented at the New York Week of Culture in 2007.2007 TERRA DI UN UOMO 16mm documentary by Jean François Neplaz and Elisa Zurlo. On behalf of the Shellac Sud production company (Marseille)An Italian/French co-production sponsored by the Region PACA (Provence, Alpes, Cote d'Azur) and the Torino Film Commission.