Siccità: Italian Paolo Virzì on his Dystopian Dramedy, Starring Monica Belluci

Virzì on How the Pandemic Permeates Dystopic Dramedy ‘Siccità’–Long Drought in Rome Has Dried Up the Tiber

Paolo Virzi and Monica Bellucci
Courtesy of Dominique Charriau/WireImage
Italian director Paolo Virzì (Human Capital, Like Crazy) is in Venice where his dystopic drama Siccità (which means drought in Italian) premiers out-of-competition.
The film features an A-list ensemble cast: Monica Bellucci, Sara Serraiocco (“Counterpart”) and Silvio Orlando (“Young Pope”).
It is set amid a protracted drought caused by climate change in the Italian capital where the Tiber has dried up.

Virzì spoke about how “Siccità” germinated during COVID-19 and was shot amid tight pandemic protocols.

Working with novelist-screenwriter Paolo Giordano

Max Tortora in “Siccità,” directed by Paolo Virzì. Courtesy of Greta De Lazzaris

The pandemic has heightened alarm on climate change and water scarcity

We tried to imagine the world not far from now due to hydrogeological instability. What Rome would be like with people almost dying of thirst, which is not that unrealistic a few years from now. There was also desire to make a very crowded film, with lots of different storylines and people, perhaps because we were isolated and separated.  We came up with this crazy bunch of characters whose lives intersect over the course of 3 days in Rome in a scenario of alarm over both environmental and health crisis.

Touches of the supernatural

We veered off from realism, initially saying: ‘Let’s imagine a reality that has not yet happened. And it’s not necessarily going to happen. We set it in almost dystopian world in which there is dialogue with the dead. And we also played a bit with tones that go from tragic to slapstick. I like mixing the tragic with the ridicule.

Shooting during the pandemic?



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