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This film is
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Great Expectations

Filmmaker : Martina Parenti & Massimo D'Anolfi Original score : Massimo Mariani Italy, 2009 PRODUCTION : MONTMORENCY FILM, Rai Cinema
Italian English, French

About this film


The emergence of a new ruling class in Italy seen through the eyes of three young entrepreneurs. Antonio organises a training course for business executives who want to “hold on to their power”. Federico is trying to open a sparkling water plant in Shanghai. Matteo manages the family company and is trying to transfer his working methods to indifferent Chinese employees. Shuttling back and forth between Italy and China, and portraying their ambitions as well as their difficulties and fears, this human comedy reveals both great expectations and the most despicable thinking.

Tënk's opinion

D'Anolfi’s and Parenti’s second film focuses on the new generation of entrepreneurs in their workplaces and during working hours. The result is a film about the way people see their role as leaders in society. China, the set on which these new Italian business leaders evolve, put the rules of the society that shaped them on the line between big business people’s lack of scruples and the most picaresque of surprises. We’re given three portraits of the crisis of an unbridled capitalist system that’s about to collapse, incapable of foreseeing the consequences of its actions that are often frenetic and dictated by the ever-changing economic situation. “Grandi speranze” is a film about “the enemy” (these young people supported the 20-year reign of Berlusconi), but it manages to avoid mere judgment or farce, instead keeping its distance, highlighting the filmmakers’ perplexity about this new entrepreneurial spirit.

Daniela Persico
Programmer and critic


Martina Parenti & Massimo D'Anolfi

Italian filmmakers Martina Parenti (1972, Milan) and Massimo D'Anolfi (1974, Pescara) have been working together for about fifteen years. They created the production company Montmorency Film. Their career began in 2007 with "I promessi sposi" (The Bride and Groom), selected at the Locarno Film Festival and awarded at the Festival dei Popoli and the Filmaker Festival. This was followed by "Grandi speranze" (2009), shot between Italy and China, also selected for Locarno, and "Il castello" (2011), shot entirely at Malpensa airport, which won numerous awards at international festivals. "Materia oscura" (2014), presented at the 63rd Berlinale Forum, won the prize for best film on human rights at the Bafici of Buenos Aires. With "L'infinita fabbrica del Duomo" (2015), presented at the Locarno Film Festival, they begin their exploration of the elements of nature and the tension towards immortality, which will culminate with "Spira mirabilis" (2016), in competition at the 73rd Venice Film Festival. They return to Venice with the short film "Blu" (2018) and with "War and Peace" (2020), in the Orizzonti section.