Strappare lungo i bordi (2021) - full transcript




In 1995, my life was like that
of a beached invertebrate,

washed up on the back row of class.

I remember how I always kept my head
on my crossed arms,

and from that angle,

my whole world was just a windowpane
and a streetlamp.

I was Miss Mazzetti's favourite
because I was good.

I did nothing, but I was good.

I had this strange idea I was intelligent.
I was arrogant about my future.

I can do whatever I want
because I'm clever.

I'll succeed at everything in life.

If I feel like it, I'll even get
American citizenship at 18

and run for President.

Imagine how arrogant a child can get

just because
he can draw an isosceles triangle

and his mum tells everyone...

He's such a clever boy!

He can even chew the fat
on a slice of ham all by himself!

Then one day, I was in school,
everything seemed normal

when suddenly a chasm opened up

and out of the fiery pits of hell
came long division and fractions,

and I realised that if I wanted
to be remembered as a smart boy,

I'd have to die, right then,

in the seventh grade,

possibly before the exams took place
bang in the middle of March.

I didn't die,

and so I ended up
humiliating myself every week.

And I remember my heart breaking
when Miss Mazzetti said to me...

You were so clever last term!
What happened to you?

Did you stop studying?
I expected so much from you!

You were my top student!

I wanted to tell her,

I haven't stopped studying.
I'm just stupid!

I don't understand anything!
I'm stupid, what can I do?

Why do you have to make me feel guilty?

Why does the fact I'm stupid
have to be a disappointment for you?

Now I feel not only stupid,

but like a monster for hurting this woman
who had such high hopes for me!

At that age, my conscience had already
taken on the shape of an armadillo.

Every day it would say...

Can't you see how sad she is?

Now she'll go home
and think about your terrible performance

on the blackboard,
and start drinking to forget.

She'll keep drinking more and more
until she becomes a shell

and, in the end, she'll crash
into a frozen food truck.

At her funeral, her family will say...

She was never the same

after that shitty kid
failed to get to grips with long division.

That thought was devastating.

It made me fear
every exam, every question.

I spent every week
trying to win back her approval.

Other than the armadillo,
I only spoke to two people at that time,

which was enough

because they came from the two extremes
of the classroom food chain.

Secco, at the bottom
of the evolutionary ladder, who,

in an allegorical representation
of society, would be eating potatoes

with rats and Irishmen
on the bottom deck of the Titanic,

and Sarah, who could never understand
my anguish because she always got A's.

Damn that bloody nerd!

I remember one morning we'd gotten
our grades back from a test.

Secco and I were worst in the class,
and I asked him,

Hey, Secco. Holy moly, can't you see
how much we've disappointed her?

How can you live with yourself
knowing that you're so terrible?

I don't give a shit.
Shall we go and get some ice cream?

How is that possible?

Don't you care in the slightest

about that poor woman
who is like a mother to us?

Don't you feel terrible
for disappointing her?

I don't give a shit.
Can we go get ice cream?

You know what? I've just realised
Secco was never letting anyone down,

because Miss Mazzetti
never believed in him.

She never called him up to the board,
never asked him questions,

but looked at him
like a mould stain in a lift

that, yes, gets on your nerves,
but is the building manager's job.

That partly explains why that day,
after school,

when we were chatting quietly
and everything seemed normal,

Miss Mazzetti drove by
in her car on her way home,

and boom,
a cherry bomb explodes under her car!

And let me tell you, in 1995,
a cherry bomb under a car was very scary.

We could still remember
the Capaci Bombing,

judges Falcone, Borsellino.

But no, there was Secco with a handful
of firecrackers, ready to strike again.

Sarah and I said, "Are you insane?
What the hell have you done?"

"Run, you idiot!"

We ran, but we got caught anyway,
and all of us got suspended,

even though two of us
hadn't done anything.

I remember saying to Sarah...

Well, Sarah, now you know how it feels

to disappoint someone
who loves and believes in you.

Sorry you had to find out this way.

My God, Zero!

How much does Miss Mazzetti care
for you, for me, for any of us?

She has a son, and it's not you!

He's a moron who goes on TV
dressed up as Renato Zero.

You're just her job.

She's had 400 other kids before you,
and will after you.

Have you noticed
she sometimes calls you Zeno?

Yeah, but everyone says it wrong
because it sounds better.

No, she's not getting it wrong.

She's getting you mixed up
with Zeno Ventriglia in 3B.

Ventriglia in 3B?

The farting hunchback?

The news devastated me.

Oh, but how can she get us
mixed up like that?

You're not that important, Zero.

You're not the centre
of Miss Mazzetti's world.

We see her standing there, alone,
behind her desk

and it's like
she's the founding pillar of our lives.

But her life starts at 1:30
when school finishes.

You're just a number
among infinite numbers.

Apart from your mum,

no one cares if you get an F,
a B, or an A in maths.

I think she saw all
of my self-confidence crumble to pieces.

I could feel my face start to crack,
and she said...

Don't you realise how great this is?

You don't need to carry the weight
of the world on your shoulders,

you're just a single blade of grass
in a field.

Don't you feel lighter?

I don't know
if it was really like that,

perhaps some teachers
are more dedicated than others.

But I do remember thinking that day

there was something incredibly soothing
about being a blade of grass

that made no difference to anyone,

and couldn't be responsible
for all the evil in the world.

♪ See the ghost up on the hill ♪

♪ Watch as the ocean turns to still... ♪

♪ Watch as the fire burns to ash ♪

♪ Watch as your life comes to pass... ♪

A little while ago, Alice tried to call,
but I couldn't answer at that moment.

I can't remember what I was doing.
It must've been important.

Maybe I was studying...


Or maybe I was training,

Ever since Fabrizio Frizzi,
God rest his soul,

appeared to me in a dream and told me
the TV game show we were watching,

that involved stacking coins
on your elbow and catching them,

might become an Olympic sport
at Paris 2024,

I've been training as much as possible.

Well, okay, I've got no idea.

It wasn't anything personal,
I just didn't want to talk to her.

Then something mundane happened,
I don't remember what exactly,

maybe I tripped over my phone charger
or some shit like that.

I thought,
"I'll post about it on Twitter."

"It's been a while
since I complained on socials."

"I have a master's degree
in social media whining."

"I even did my dissertation
on the difference

between rants
about malfunctioning institutions,

queues at the post office,
delayed trains, that, sure,

made me a man of the people,
like Evita Peron and the descamisados,

that kind of thing,
and then there's personal ranting,

that's like, "Oh, I'm a bit sad today.
I feel gloomy."

Never do that, for crying out loud!

It makes you look like a loser
who forgot to take their meds.

No one wants to see your demons!
You're disgusting, you pathological liar!

No, immediate sanction.

What's the point in being bullied
at school if you don't learn anything?

My complaint
about the phone charger situation

seemed totally legit to me.

I was about to post it.

What, are you crazy?
What if Alice sees it?

She'll see you're not busy doing anything,
just sitting about with a phone.

If she calls, what'll you do? Answer?

He's right. Shit!

What can I say, "Sorry, can't talk.
I'm busy ranting on Twitter"?

So I do nothing. Mission aborted.

But I really thought
that tweet was amazing, so witty!

It would've got 800 million likes.

I might've been asked
to make a film about it.

But it's just not meant to be,

'cause that pain in my arse
is waiting to ambush me.

I mean, that's not true,
Alice isn't a pain in my arse,

but I'm pissed off!

What drives me crazy
is that I can't even look at WhatsApp

without her seeing I'm online.

I can't like anything on Facebook,
she might get a notification.

Basically, I can't do anything!

Now she's texting me too!

This is an attack on all fronts!

The normal thing to do here
would be read and respond,

but we're in a Mexican stand-off
and it's spiralling.

I feel like a haunted animal
and can no longer think rationally.

I'm just trying to get free
from this bear trap.

I'll have a G2 summit with the armadillo.
I'm not thinking clearly enough to decide.

The next few hours are crucial, Calcare.

You have to move quickly and be prepared.

Get in the zone, take a deep breath,
and then whack!

Open WhatsApp real sharply
and look at what Secco's sent you,

that's surely important to
the intellectual debate in this country,

and then remember to close it immediately!

Do not look at anything she's sent you.
You know nothing. You've seen nothing.

You need to be able to deny everything,
including in front of the Grand Jury.

Hit and run. Look at the photo
of the carp giving a blow job,

'cause that's all Secco has sent you,

then crawl back
into the shadows like a rat.

Okay, until when?
How do I break off this standstill?

Until 3:00 a.m.

Set an alarm, get up, log in,
read what she wrote,

then throw the ball back to her.

Write something like,
"Sorry, only just saw this."

- And that's it.
- Hmm.

She'll definitely be asleep
and won't see it until morning.

What do we do tomorrow? We'll be back
to square one. In an infinite loop.

Bravo! An infinite loop.

That's the utopian horizon,
like the philosopher's stone.

We'll think about tomorrow tomorrow.
Worst case, we'll do it all again.

Wait till 03:00 a.m.
then put the ball back in her court again.

Do it over and over and over ad infinitum.

Sorry, if I may, my armadillo friend,

don't you think
dealing with the situation openly

would relieve some anguish?

Don't you, like they say,
grab the bull by the horns...

Deal with what? Don't worry.

This is the Nazi rhetoric of blitzkrieg.

Hitler shot himself for that shit!

This is positional warfare, Calcare.

You must resist.
You have to wear down your opponent.

Take advantage of the long hours.

You have to get used
to being in the trenches.

And that's what I did.

I never found out
what she wanted to tell me.

When I saw her again,
we spoke about other things

and she never mentioned it.

It's a bit of a shame,
but what if she wanted to burden me?

Rhetorical question, no need to answer.

Since the ancient Greeks,

man has wondered
if it's better to probe the unknown,

accepting the risk
that you might not like the answer,

or remain ignorant,
so that no one gets on your case.


If the Greeks couldn't figure it out,
and they were pretty smart,

how will I ever figure it out,
having left school 20 years ago?

Everything is going according to plan,
except for smelling of piss,

even if Sarah says I don't.

I've asked her 600 times.

- Sarah, do I smell of piss to you?
- No.

- Are you sure? I think I can smell urine.
- No!

Well, I can definitely smell piss.

It's just in your head.

You think you can, like the people
who see Padre Pio and smell lavender.

Tell Secco to get ready
and come out when we call him.

We're on time. Actually, we're early.

Everything is going
as well as it possibly can.

But then all of a sudden...

We blow a tyre.

For God's sake, that's so unlucky!
Of all the days to get a flat.

It's not unlucky.

If you hit the kerb at 50 mph, you blow
a tyre, even in an armoured truck.

I'm not listening.
I'm better than this.

I have a spare tyre in the boot.

Full of energy, I get the jack, put it
in place, and start lifting the car.

I can do this. I can change a tyre.
I've done it 150 times.

You've made it to 37
and you can't do shit!

But now here you are
like a working-class hero,

doing the dirty work
covered in grease and soot.

Sarah, can you take a photo of this
and send it to my dad

so I can prove
I'm not a complete failure as a man?

I unscrew the wheel like a pro,
get ready to put the spare one on,

but bam! The car collapses.
The jack wasn't in the right place.

The bodywork of the car
is completely ruined.

From there, the mayhem continues.

I try to lift the car again,
but it feels 100 times harder.

The admiring gazes from passers-by
transform into looks of pity.

Look at what this sick,
sweaty beast is doing. How awful.

When they get like this, it's better
to put an end to their misery.

It's more humane.

The next bit of bad news,
the wheel I'm changing

was resting on a bump in the road
that I hadn't noticed.

So the new tyre,
that is thicker when inflated, won't fit.

I need to lift the car up more,
but my jack won't go any higher.

So I'm missing one wheel,
I can't fit the new one,

and I can't move the car.

I just want the power to self-combust
and set myself on fire to end this agony.

Don't worry. These things happen.

- We can ask for help.
- No! You don't understand!

You can ask for help when alone

because your fate in patriarchal society
is to have babies and make cinnamon buns.

When you put the jack
in the wrong place, it's cute,

like a kitten getting tangled in wool.

But as a man,
I need to be able to do three things.

hunt, criticise football,
and understand cars.

If I ask for help with a tyre,
I'm not just asking for help.

I'm insulting God, my homeland,

and everything sacred
that this nation was founded on,

everything for which our ancestors
gave their blood, sweat and tears!

I'm now completely paranoid.

Everything has morphed
into a huge metaphor

for gender and sexual inadequacy.

The jack won't get up.
The wheel won't fit.

It's a complete disaster.

No one stops to ask if I need a hand
because I've become a pariah.

Even the Bengali dude
at the petrol station

looks at me in disgust.

I don't know if it's because
solidarity among outcasts

is subject to rigorous scrutiny
of gender roles,

or if he thinks,

"Look at that moron."

"Even with all the white privilege
he's had since birth,

he still looks like a moron."

"Serves him right. Die, my social enemy."

Having accepted total defeat
and seeing that we're running late,

only one last resort remains.

The extreme emergency welfare tool
that is the last hope in this country.

My mother.

Hi, Mum. Bit of a mess.
Got a flat tyre. Can't change it.

Running late. Train leaves soon.

Is it okay to leave my car here
and you come wait for the tow truck?

Parent one says yes,
so Sarah and I go to get Secco on the bus.

The fact the Bengali man didn't
help me out is still bothering me.

Sarah rightly says...

Why should he be the one
to help you and not anyone else?

Do you subconsciously believe
he has to earn his place in Italy

by helping you change a tyre?

Do it as a gesture of gratitude

because this country
so lovingly welcomed him

by giving him spare change
when someone gets petrol?

I'd like to respond,
but decide not to

because it occurs to me
she might be right.

What a horrible subconscious I have.

I get a text from Mum.

In the end, I think
asking your mum for help

is still an important tradition
when it comes to male identity.

So after the humiliation I've suffered,

I can re-join my community
in perfect harmony.