The Black Sheep

by Ascanio Celestini

In Competition at THE VENICE FILM FESTIVAL.

Nicola is a young boy who was born in the country during the Sixties, with his mother sent to an asylum, his father and his two brothers that are shepherds and his grandma rearing chickens that takes care of him.At school he's banished to the last desk, he's absent-minded, he doesn't do his homework and the teacher calls him "the black sheep," but he loves Marinella, the most beautiful girl of his class and when he's not lost in her eyes or blonde hair, Nicola tells about extraterrestrials and women licking naked men; to show everybody he's brave, he eats spiders still alive.A crime committed by his brothers, falls on the dangerous kid that talks about aliens; Nicola becomes a troublesome witness and his reckless family sends him to the asylum where his mother died and where nobody will listen to him when he talks. A guest, not a patient, in a place that feeds him and puts him up.Following a second tragic event of which the responsibility falls on him again and after having suffered brutal treatments, Nicola develops another identity by inventing a friend, a technician, that keeps him company.There will be two different actors to play Nicola's split personality, generating a slight touch of humour. Then Nicola meets Marinella, the beloved of his childhood, at the supermarket where he often goes accompanied by the old nun that has known him since then. In a sweet love atmosphere, Nicola pluck up courage to declare his love still there after 35 years, while the other one, ignored by the surrounding world, comments with risqué talks.The joy of finding her again and the deep sorrow after her clear refusal, give Nicola the possibility of recovering himself, getting rid of the imaginary friend.

Genre / Language / Length
Drama / Italian / 93 minutes
Original title
La Pecora Nera
directed by
Ascanio Celestini (MY BROTHER IS AN ONLY CHILD)
produced by
Madeleine in collaboration with RAI Cinema and BIM Distribuzione
Cast
  • Ascanio Celestini (MY BROTHER IS AN ONLY CHILD)
  • Giorgio Tirabassi
  • Maya Sansa (BEST OF YOUTH, GOOD MORNING, NIGHT)
  • Luigi Fedele
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Press Quotes

LE MONDE
4 STARS OUT OF 5

LA REPUBBLICA
4 STARS OUT OF 5

IL CORRRIERE DE LA SERA
4 STARS OUT OF 5

“Raconteur-writer-actor Ascanio Celestini proves he is a brilliant storyteller in yet another medium: cinema. In a work of art that displays his sensitivity and vast storytelling skills, Celestini captures the impoverished agrarian society that was Italy just 40 years ago, the innumerable injustices that lie within our mental institutions and the story of a life, interrupted. Celestini lifts profound tragedy from darkness with warmth, humour and even hope without stooping to cheap sentimentality or caricature.”
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“The film seems to have all it takes to move audiences… unusually powerful for a debut film”
CINEUROPA.ORG

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