Roberto Saviano has written under various authorial guises, moving from essayist, to novelist and screenwriter when deemed fit. Undaunted by threats made on his life after the publication of Gomorrah, his initial investigation into the Italian mafia, he fixatedly returns to the scene of organised crime in modern day Italy in his writings. This is also the case with La Paranza dei bambini (Competition), his adopted novel now premiering on the screen of the Berlinale. Yet these writings, admittedly created with vengeance and rigour, trigger severe consequences for the author. The question then becomes one of considering the potency of art when it ventures into spaces where lawlessness reigns and returns with the ugliest aspects of human nature for us to view.
Roberto Saviano (Naples, 1979) is the author of the international bestseller “Gomorrah.” Creator, author and screenwriter of the eponymous film (Grand Jury Prize at Cannes in 2008) and of “Gomorra - The Series,” distributed in over 150 countries. “La paranza dei bambini” was published in 2016. The eponymous film, directed by Claudio Giovannesi, is screening in the 2019 Berlinale Competition. Since 2006, Saviano has been living under 24-hour police protection due to death threats received by the crime organisations he has reported on.
Dorothee Wenner is a filmmaker, film programmer and writer. She serves as the Berlinale delegate for cinemas from Sub-Saharan Africa. She is also a founding jury member of the Africa Movie Academy Awards.