The Ties (2020) - full transcript

A marriage-in-crisis drama set in Naples and Rome over a long period starting in the 1980s.


Naples, early 1980s.

I don't believe it.

You don't...

It's not possible.

You should always tell the truth.

- I tell the truth at school.
- You should at home, too.

You've got lovely hair.
It's so long.

I know.

- You should wear a ponytail.
- I don't like ponytails.

I do, though.

Wear one for me, ponytails suit you.

I look better with a hairband.

You looked beautiful with a ponytail
when you were little.

My hair was longer then.

It's still long enough.
Look how nice it is.

No, it's too short,
I don't like it.

That's enough, get out.

- It's not rinsed yet.
- No, they've been in half an hour.

Come on, Sandro.

How long have you been in the water?

- Half an hour...
- The time it takes.

I'll make some sandwiches.

As the cubs play, a series of tactile,
olfactory and auditory sensations

strengthen the ties
between family members,

helping to build a sense of trust,
respect and affection

which will remain stable
throughout their lives.

As soon as the cubs are hungry again,

the lionesses will have to set off
on another hunting expedition.

"Three children from Barletta,

out walking in the countryside,

came across a nice smooth, brown path.

"What can it be?" asked the eldest.

"It's not wood," ” said the second.

"And it's not coal, either!"
said the third.

All three of them knelt down
to try and find out,

and they licked the ground.

It was chocolate!

It was a chocolate road!"

I love it when you talk like that.

Like what?

Nice... princely.

It's the voice I use for the radio.

Why can't we listen to you?

Because it goes on air when you're
at school. If they change the time...

If they do, will you spend
more time in Rome?

No... just the same.
Not more.

Are they asleep?

They were exhausted.

Look at that.

- I forgot.
- What if the kids had taken it?

Instead of making a fuss,
why didn't you take it...

and put it away?

- I wanted you to see it.
- No, you wanted to preach!

Vanda, what's wrong with you?

Is that any way to talk to me?

What's wrong with me?
And you?

What is it?

Something happened...

I slept with another woman.

I slept with another woman, Vanda.

Are you having an affair?

I don't know.


Why are you telling me?

Why am I telling you?

Why did you do it?

It just happened.

How long's it been going on?

Who is she?

This is stupid...

- No, it's not stupid.
- It's stupid to ask me who.

Why did you tell me?

I told you I slept with another woman.

That's all.

I know it's not nice,
but I wanted to tell you.

But why are you telling me?

Because I didn't want to hide it.

If it doesn't mean anything, you should
have thought twice before telling me.

But you've told me now.

What am I supposed to do now?

Tell me.

Do I forgive you?

You apologise and I forgive you?

I felt a need to tell you.

- You've fallen in love!
- I knew it.

I told you, I'm confused, help me
instead of asking pointless questions!

No, don't be arrogant!
First you behave like a shit,

and now you're saying
I ask stupid questions.


Come here...

Go away!

What was it like?

Sordid, exciting?

- Tell me.
- Stop it!

Where did it happen?

Will you think rationally for once
instead of making a ridiculous scene?

Get out!

- Get out, or I will.
- Come on...

I want you to go!

Get out!

Get out!
I have a right to be left on my own!

Get out!

It's time we rescued
an important but little known novel.

"Malacqua" ” by Nicola Pugliese.

It talks about four days of heavy rain
in Naples, the sunny city.

You only glimpse Naples in the rain,
you don't see it.

The characters in this novel
stand at their windows,

the rain can be heard
on the windowpanes most of the time,

they hear it outside,
they are stuck at home.

They spend as little time
as possible outdoors.

Inside, they make I love,
they are scared.

They mostly wait for the rain to stop,
but it doesn't stop.

"Malacqua" ” in Neapolitan means
when things start to look bad.

Hi, Vanda.

Hi, Giulio.

Here we are then.

In case you've forgotten,
let me remind you: I'm your wife.

Sandro keeps asking me about you.

And Anna won't wash her hair

because she says you're the only one
who knows how to dry it.

You don't realise
what you've done to me.

It feels as though you've stuck
a hand down my throat,

and pulled and pulled

until you tore out
what I had in my chest.

All of it.

It wasn't against you.

No one meant to hurt anyone.

Aldo, what happened to you can happen,

I don't live in a separate world.

But you have to come home.

We made a pact
when we decided to live together.

Do you remember we made a pact?

If we hadn't, I too would have
happily lived a different life.

We said so back then.

If we got married,
it was to be for good.

I followed you to Naples.
Without any family and friends!

But I did it because of that pact.

So now you have to come home.

It's not only a matter of love,

it's a matter of loyalty.

If you're in love, that changes things.

Just tell me.

If you tell me the truth now,
you'll save everyone's lives.

I have a right to know
where I stand,

then I'll know whether I'm right
to bring you home or not.

Are you in love?

"Three children from Barletta,

out walking in the countryside,

came across a nice smooth, brown path.

"What can it be?" asked the eldest.

"It's not wood," said the second.

"And it's not coal, either"
said the third.

All three of them,

knelt down to try and find out,
and they licked the ground.

It was chocolate!

It was a chocolate road!

Do you like it, Dad?

Love it.

Do you?


Why don't we change channels then?

Because we thought you like it.

"Liked it", you mean.

I wanted to show you a drawing.


That's lovely! What is it?

I drew my dream.

A dream?


- Don't you want to hear about it?
- Of course.

I'd just got back from the beach,
but I'd gone on my own

because you and Mum
said I was old enough.

Down in the yard, I met the lady
from the shop who said to me,

"What are you doing here?"

I got scared and answered,
"I need to have a shower".

And she says, "Where?"

And I reply, "Aren't my parents here?

Isn't Sandro here?"

And she replies,
"but they're still alive! I"

And this is Dad with a beard.

What lovely colours!
You draw really well.

I can draw better than that.

You? Better than her?

Aldo, can you come here a minute?

You watch some cartoons.

We just have, with Dad!

Then watch some more.

What's up now?

If you come here, be present.

- What's the problem?
- You're bored.

They get bored too. So?
Can't we get bored now?

You can't wait to return to Rome.

You do realise Anna dreamt
she was dead?

You didn't bat an eyelid,
you weren't moved,

you just admired the colours.

What do you mean?

Sandro and Anna
have a right to a family,

a family with a home where
they eat together, do their homework,

have dinner, watch a bit of TV,
then go to bed.

Maybe you're not interested
in bringing them up,

and two visits a month is enough.

What do you want?

You kicked me out!

You don't say anything. I never know
where you are, what you're thinking.

I've been tired too, lately.

But I stay right where I am.

I don't go around creating
another family.

I'm not creating a family.

I'm here to see my kids, aren't|?

You've only got one solution...

The four of us.

Please! Don't pester me, Vanda.

Look at me...

That's right;
you, me, Sandro and Anna.

Dad, your favourite cartoon is on!

Kids, Dad has to go now.

- You said you'd stay.
- I said I had a train to catch.

Come here, do you want to come
to Rome with Dad sometimes?

- Yes!
- I'll take you, when I can arrange it.

Do you listen to Dad at breakfast?

Mum sometimes turns the radio on,
but not always.

Then tell Mum to turn the radio on
in the morning, so you can listen in.

I want to show you something.

Be careful.

- What happened here?
- Nothing, the jug fell off.

Here, look, I'll make a note.

Anna, you're the oldest.

If Mum forgets,
you tune in to this station.

When I cough twice, like this...

it means I'm telling you I love you.

- Are you famous, Dad?
- A little, a little famous.

Turn the radio on now and then...

don't forget.

A Book in 120 Seconds,

narrated by Aldo De Simone.

"Tender Is the Night” is one of
Scott Fitzgerald's finest novels.

It's set on the Cote d'Azur
and in Paris

and the scene we wish to discuss
involves Dick and Nicole.

The moment Dick remembers
the morning the grass was damp

and Nicole ran towards him.

She stood on his shoes,
her arms around his neck

and said: "Think how much
you love me right now.

I don't ask you to love me always
like this, but I ask you to remember.

Somewhere inside me there'll always be
the person I am tonight.”

- Come on!
- We were listening to that.

- But he didn't cough.
- That means he's fine.

Come on!

Get a move on, come on!

Get your school bag!

Go on.

It appears you only pay maintenance
to your family sporadically.

That your wife cares for the children

That your interest in...

Sandro and Anna
has been spasmodic.

You live with another woman
but they don't have a room there.

You left them to sleep with friends
the only time they were in your care

and went to sleep with another woman.

That's why your wife
is requesting exclusive custody.

And it doesn't appear
you have applied for joint custody.

Aren't you going to appeal?

No, Your Honour.

May I know why?

The Books You Don't Need to Read,

Books Used for Purposes
Other Than Reading,

Books You Have Read
Without Even Opening Them

In That They Belong to Those
Already Read

Even Before They Were Written.

So you get over the first ramparts

and the Infantry of Books
hurls itself at you

That if You Had More Lives to Live

You Would Willingly Read
These Books Too...

But unfortunately the days
you have left are limited.

With a great leap

you end up in the pile of books
you still intend to read,

but first you have to read others.

I killed myself.

I know I should say
"I tried to kill myself”,

but that's not correct.

Basically, I'm dead.

Do you think I did it
to force you to come back?

God, you really are
a weak, confused man,

superficial and devoid of sensitivity.

The opposite of what I thought
you were these last 12 years.

You're not interested in people,

how they change, how they evolve.

You only care about people
who acknowledge your prestige

and prevent you from seeing
you are actually empty

and frightened by this emptiness.

You brought kids into the world,
but only because, being a husband,

you thought it necessary
to become a father too.

That's how it's done.

Then you met
a respectable young girl

and you became her lover,
because that's how it's done.

At this point my kids
no longer belong to you.

And even if you want to see them,
I will stop you.

I know you will not fight back,

you'll do nothing to get us back
because that's what's happening to you.

You will carry on like that forever,

you will never be what you want to be...

but what happens to you.

Wait here.

- Hi.
- Hi.

What's up?

Nothing. They'll join you later.

Do you have any instructions to give me?

They agreed to meet you
and that's fine by me.

But they're scared and confused.

So I beg you not to make
matters even worse,

because after all these years
they don't deserve it.

Don't worry.

- How's work?
- Short-term.

Three classes in two different schools.

So it's working out...


- Hi. - Hi!

Let me have a look at you!



Go on.

Don't get upset.

- Bye.
- Bye.

- Bye.
- See you later.

- Which way?
- Down the steps.



Aldo, can you get that?

- The door!
- Okay.

- Good morning.
- Good morning.

Do you know what's in here?

The magnetic stimulator
for my wife's broken wrist.

Well done! But you have to pay
even when you guess right.

Wait, I'll get the money.

You're lovely! Hi!

- What's its name?
- Labes.

What kind of name is Labes?

"The beast".
Labes, the beast.

How much is it?

240 euros.


Sign here.

I don't have any change.

Your tip.

10 euros?


- So many books!
- I need them for my job.

- What job is that?
- I'm a journalist.

Do you have a family, kids?


A wife and two kids.

Male or female?

One male, one female.

What's this cube?

It's a magic box someone brought me
from Prague, many years ago.

Why's it magic?

Because no one can open it.

I could.

It's impossible.

Don't tire yourself out reading.

Are you going on holiday?


Thanks for the tip.

Nice house!

How much did you give her?

250 euros.

You tipped her 30 euros?

Ten, the invoice says 240.

I don't think so.

220 euros.

She told me 240.

She was ripping you off!

She was a pretty girl, it's a miracle
she didn't get more out of you.

Will you be okay a week on your own?

Will you be a good boy?

Will you go hunting?

A week's a long time.

Come on, the kids will take care of him.

But he'll know we're not here, right?

- Won't you?
- The kids...

They're 40 years old!

Bye, darling.

Be good, sweetie.

- Come on, let's go.
- Look how upset he is.

- We won't be away long.
- I want to avoid the traffic.

Bye, my love.

Bye, darling.

Look who's there.

Look who's over there.

- Go and talk to her.
- No, it doesn't matter.

Ask her for the money she stole.

Forget it.

No, I'll go and talk to her then.

Hold it, I'll go.

They're laughing at you.

Okay... that girl...

even if she conned me
out of 5 or 10 euros...

That girl who brought you...

- 30 euros!
- The stimulator...

What's 30 euros after all?
It won't change our lives.

- Will we end up homeless?
- You enjoy being made a fool of...


When I need to, I show them what...

Do you remember that time
with the taxi driver?

I nearly punched him.
Do you remember that?

You punched a taxi-driver?
I certainly don't remember.

I said almost punched.

He drove me to Rai,
and I paid him with a 50-euro note.

I was waiting for change but he said
I had given him a 10-euro note.

I got tough with him, I was furious

and asked him for his name
and address.

I told him to keep the 50 euros
but I would go to the police.

In the end he gave me my change
from 50 euros.

No, I wasn't there in that taxi, Aldo.

- What do you mean?
- I wasn't there.

You're wrong, come on...

- No, you mean something else.
- Stop it!

- It was you.
- I said that's enough.

Crikey, you'll drive me crazy like that!


- What do you want?
- There's no one here.

I know, no.


I can't open it!

Can you give me a hand?

- Isn't the key working?
- It's turning, but it won't open.

- What's up?
- Jesus...


Come on, let's tidy up.

Just look at this...

What a mess!

- Where are you going?
- I'll take a look in here.

- Be careful.
- Careful of what?

- Shards of glass.
- Careful of what?

It's really spiteful.

Everything's wrecked...

We could go and ask
if someone noticed anything.

Okay, I'll go.

This goes up here...

- Where did you get it?
- Prague.

There were two people here yesterday...

He saw two shadows,
but he may have made it up.

Oh God, Labes?

- Have you seen him?
- No...

Oh God!

Come here, darling.

Come here, sweetie...

Where are you?

Don't scare me, come out!

Come on, sweetie!

They left everything open,
he'll have fallen out.

I'm usually asleep at midnight,
I go to bed very early.

Before we left,
a girl conned my husband.

She took 30 euros...

The usual cons they pull on old folk.

He's not even that old,

but he let her cheat him
because he's naive.

He feels social guilt when it comes
to people who may be needy.

She was pretty too...

So you suspect the girl broke in
and smashed up the house?

I don't know, but why not?

She had a good look round,

she knew we were going away
because of the suitcases.

Do you have any idea
what was stolen yet?

I don't know.
What did they take?

I don't know.

There's too much mess
to work out what they've taken.

And we're both absent-minded,
him more than me.

And the cat's gone too.

He's got a pet tag with "Labes" on it
and my telephone number.

It's called Labes?

Yes, it stands for "the beast".

Do you think he was stolen?

Why would they do that?

Perhaps the cat jumped at the chance
to go and look for a girlfriend.

I've spoken to Sandro.

Has he arrived at Corinne's?
How are the kids?

They're fine.

He suggests we go to a hotel tonight,
says it would be better.

- Do you want to?
- No, I want to stay here.

Then if Labes comes back,
we'll be here.


I told you, I didn't ring her.

You get some sleep.

Go on.

I'll wait up.

You'll wait up?

If the burglars come back,
I'll give them 100 euros...


Go on...

Will you put my things
on one side?

Then if there's something
to salvage... we'll salvage it.

Good night.

Let's look at the presents
Daddy has brought you.

For Sandro...

a nice leather football.

I can't play with it in the house!

No, it's for when you play
with your friends in the yard.

He never goes in the yard.

Right, Sandro?

Now he has a football,
he might want to go out and play.

And a nice little box for Anna.

Is it a ring?

No, a...

- Pendant?
- A pendant.

That's right.

- Do you like it?
- It's pretty.

It's strange you chose a pendant.

There's nothing strange about it.

Let's see it on you.

Did you choose it?

You haven't answered me.
Did you choose it?

Yes, I chose it.
What about it?

- I know who chose it.
- That's not true.

Yes, it is, she chose it.

- Can we go in there?
- Yes, to play.

No, stay here.

Then you two can talk...

Do you need help to choose
a present for your kids?

Don't you dare bring things here
that she has chosen!

Let's have a look at this pendant.

Come here, Anna.

Just her taste. Typical.

Sandro, let's go and play football
in the yard.

Then we'll have a bit of fun.

Show me that box.

It's from a jeweller's in Rome.

It's rather chic...


Do I have to take it off?

No, but wear it inside.

The funny one.

- That story...
- Okay.

So, a guy enters a coffee...


Do you know another one?
Is that the only one you know?

Have some cake.

No, they've got some ice-cream.

- They haven't eaten anything.
- They've got ice-cream.

In fact, let's get to bed now.
Get into your pyjamas.

I'm going out now,
I won't be long.

You can stay with her if you want.

We'll take care of them tonight.

- What are you doing?
- No, I prefer to come back.

They've not got school tomorrow,
you can pick them up whenever you want.

You can do what you want,
you've got the keys.

We'll stay here a couple of days,
then we'll find another place.

Wouldn't it be better
to take them to Lidia's?

Let's go and eat the ice-cream
through there.

Sandro, let's go and eat the ice-cream
on the sofa.

- No, you might stain it.
- Goon!

Be careful then.

I'm bothered about Vanda.

Not because she would be angry,
it's not that.

But if I take them to Lidia's,
it's like saying,

move over, I don't need you anymore,
either as a wife or a mother.

Are you scared the kids
will compare them?

I don't want them to,
not right now.

You know what Lidia's like,
she'd soon win them over.

And I'm not sure...
having two kids staying at her place,

seeing me in my role as father
every day,

and not having time for us.

Lidia's in love with you.

- I know she's in love with me.
- Precisely, so?

- She'd get fed-up.
- No, she wouldn't.

- With kids in the house, she would.
- No, that's not true.

It's obvious your life is here now.

Perhaps you should get tougher
with your wife.

She's not given you an easy time.

In what way?
Tougher with Vanda?

- He means...
- What does he mean?

He means he realises
how hurt Vanda feels,

but she's going too far.

I'm the one who's doing things wrong,
and she's just reacting to it.

But she's not being nice about it.

It's not easy to suffer in a nice way.

Will you help us clear the table?


Where were you?

Sandro fell out of bed

and I picked him up.

But he didn't wake up.

Sleep now.

Go to sleep.

There's no love
without the possibility of betrayal.

One includes the other.
They're intertwined.

The greater the love,

the greater the chance
of being betrayed is.

Betrayal is the condition
for being part of the real world,

the world of real responsibilities,
the world of awareness.

So, paradoxically, we must think

in positive terms of betrayal
rather than of trust.

This is because living or loving
only where there is trust,

where the word given
is binding for life,

where we feel safe and protected,

where we run no risk
of being hurt or let down,

this means being out of reach
of suffering,

and therefore out of touch
with real life.

I'm not sure you will agree
with my interpretation of betrayal.

Yes, it reminds me
of something Jung said.

He said the sense of our sins
is that we have to take them on,

we have to first recognise them
and recognise their brutality.

And for the psyche to take on a sin
means to acknowledge and remember it.

What are you doing here?

Dad said it was time to come back.


I need to get organised.

If you say you'll stay three days,
then it has to be three days.

- We didn't know where to go.
- You're confusing them.

I know, it confuses me too.

Is that all your fatherhood entails?

They can't sit idle all day,
camped out in my friends' home.

No, they can't.

It's different when
they're in their own home...

with us.

What do you mean?


- Have you changed your mind?
- What?

You want to come back?

Vanda, not again...

We can start again right now
if you want to.

You're stifling me.

I feel like I'm in prison.

I merely said
I have to get organised.

No, you say ambiguous things
to torment me.

Do you want me to go? I will.

You enjoy tormenting me.

No, you're not going anywhere.

What are you doing?



What the fuck are you doing?

Dad says he feels in prison with us.

What do we do now?

Keep him in prison.

I've locked the door
and we have the keys.

And you're not leaving.

You'll scare them.

You're not leaving.

You're scaring them, Vanda.

Stop it!

Mummy, Dad's out here,
he's not leaving.

Mummy, come out.

Vanda, come out.

- Come out!
- Open the door!

Mummy, come out!

- Dad's staying here!
- I'm sorry.

I was joking.

Oh God, no'!


Darn it...

- You'll be all right.
- You're okay.

You go.

Go on.

You come here.

You know Mummy was only joking?

Go home'!

We're fine, really we are.

Come on, let's rinse your face.

- How is she?
- She's out of danger.

Do you see what she did?
She tried to kill herself.

I'm writing to tell you I'm fond of you

and that I never meant to hurt you.

I've always done everything I could
to stop you being hurt.

But I can't suffocate myself
to prevent you from suffocating.

Not that, no.

So I won't come and see you
or find out how you are.

Let me tell you that not even your death
can stop me loving Lidia.

Why are you with me?

It just happened.

- That makes no sense.
- But it's true.

What if it happens
that it all comes to an end?

We'll try not to make that happen.

Look after your kids.

- What about you?
- I can be around even if they are.

How can you?
You won't wait for me.

You have a new job, your friends,
admirers... you'd ditch me.



The programme's a big success,

in fact they've given me a better spot.

My programme is
making me rather well-known,

so every so often
I do some introductions to books.

And because of this, the papers
contact me to ask my opinion

on cultural and political matters
and current affairs.

Thank you.

You can ask me some questions too,
if you want.

How are you, Dad, what are you doing?
What do you do all day?

Is it true you taught him
to tie his shoelaces?

No one ties his shoelaces
the way I do.

And how do you tie them?

It's ridiculous how he ties them.
I can't believe you do the same.

I think I tie my shoelaces
like everyone else.

- No.
- No?

Show us.

You want to see
how I tie my shoelaces?



Right then...

Let's start with my laces undone.

I take this and then I tighten it.

Then I make two loops,
like everyone else does,

I wind it round

push it through here, in the hole,
and pull it like this.

Nothing special.

- Do you tie them like this?
- Yes.

I want to learn too.


Come on, Sandro, let's show her
how to tie her shoelaces.

First of all, untie them.

Watch Sandro,
who ties them better than I do.

But it's a ridiculous way to tie them.

When did you teach me?

I don't remember teaching you.

Perhaps you taught yourself,
through watching me.

- Hi.
- Hi.

- Hi.
- Hi.

Hello, darling.

Go and wash your hands.

Bang on time.

Have I ever brought them back late?

No, you always bring them back early.

I've set a place for you, too.

The kids'll be happy
if you eat before you go.

I'll be late back.

Please yourself.


Baked pasta?

Baked pasta.

Only a small portion.

Has she eaten these last few days?

- Not much, but she's okay.
- No, she needs to eat.

A double portion then.

She's the tallest in the class.

- But she has to eat.
- She does eat...

We still haven't been
to Michele's exhibition.

Yeah, we have to go.

Yes, but it's not on much longer.

I'm staying in Naples tomorrow,
I'll be back Monday morning.

Ah, that's right. You spend
every weekend in Naples now.

- Do you mind?
- No.

Then you're free to do what you want,
to go out freely.


I'm free to "go out freely”
as you so clumsily put it.

But you mustn't be such a coward
when you tell me.

I just said...

You don't stay in Naples so I'm free
to go out freely at night.

- Why do you stay in Naples?
- Why?

- Because you want to, right?
- I spend more time with the kids.

Yes, I know.
But perhaps you should be honest.


You should tell me
what it means to you.

What it means to arrive with your bag,
sit down at the table together,

watch the TV, put the kids
to bed, chat to Vanda...

You should tell me all these things.

Be honest,
tell yourself what you mean.

- What do you want me to say?
- You don't "have" to say anything.

You should want to tell me,
to understand.

Understand what?

- What do you feel for your family?
- Are you asking about Vanda?

Vanda too. The whole situation.

I don't know...

It's hard to answer that.

Are you happy
when Saturday comes round?

Of course I'm happy,

I missed seeing my kids for ages,

and now I've been able to salvage
my relationship with them.

Is this your reply to me,
or your reply to yourself?

- What are you trying to say?
- I'm not trying to...

I am saying it.

I'm not getting at anything,

I just want to face things
exactly as they are.

I don't know...

I find it hard...

to say what I really feel.

I think the time has come
to stop running away.

- I'm not running away.
- You owe it to me.

You owe it to your kids.

And you owe it to Vanda.

But most of all, you owe it to yourself.

I'm happy on Monday morning
when I come back to you.

Seeing you, spending time together...

Seeing your face, going out...

But we haven't formed any ties.

Mainly out of principle,
but maybe out of fear too.

We always said, "No ties".

And that made me feel euphoric.

Perhaps we never formed those ties here

they've always remained there.

The other day,

while I was telling them a story,
Sandro fell asleep on the sofa.

I picked him up and took him
to his room, it was instinctive.

I didn't even think about it.

Then when Vanda went to bed,
I joined her there

and lay down next to her.

We talked about
when we were young.

We even laughed
about how stupid we were.

Then I must have fallen asleep,

because I woke up at dawn...

and I was still lying next to her,
fully dressed.

You never told me about that.

I'm the real me
when I'm with you, Lidia,

but I'm real when I'm with Vanda too.

Yes, I think that too.

You have to stop being here
while thinking about being there.

So let's do the opposite,
and see what happens.

- What do you mean?
- That you should go there.

And then you'll work out
if you want to be here instead.

But as Vanda's not the only one
who knows you,

I know you too...

I already know the answer.

That's enough.

Come on...

That's enough.

What do you reckon,
shall I sleep here with you?


Anna's bed is too small

and I can't keep waking up
with a backache.

I too have been wondering

how you could sleep in that bed.


But there's a rule you have to obey.

What's that?

I never want to hear her name again.

Take your shoes off.

What are you doing here?

Were you looking for something?

No, I'm not looking for anything,
I'm putting things back.

I prefer to put my own things back.

Did you manage to sleep?

I woke up really early, but I stayed
in bed waiting for dawn to break.

- Labes didn't come back, eh?
- No.

Do you want a coffee?

Yes, please.

What's in these bags?

Broken stuff to be thrown out.

Go and throw them out then.

I'll make the coffee.

What's up?

Why did you call the cat "Labes"?

Labes, "the beast", right?

What's the problem?

- What a liar!
- I'm not with you.

I found the Latin dictionary
open at the letter I.

The word "Labes" is highlighted in yellow
along with the definitions.


shame, fall, landslide,
collapse, ruin...

- What's it got to do with me?
- Disaster, misadventure...

For 11 years I've been calling,
"Labes, darling, come here..."

And you thought it funny to hear
"fall, landslide, ruin, shame."

You're crazy, totally crazy.

I wonder why you wanted me to find out
today of all days.

There must be some reason
for that, right?

You've always been like that.

Venting wicked feelings
in underhand ways.

What wicked feelings
are you talking about?

What are you accusing me of now?

Why did I want you to come back?

I really don't know.

Certainly not because I thought
I would be happy with you.

And not even for love because...

I've never had intense feelings for you,

nothing particularly special.

I probably just wanted you
to give me back

something I thought
you had taken from me.

But it was hard to work out
what you had taken.

You know, I think if you had
stayed with Lidia...

we'd both have been saved.

Oh God, I said "Lidia".

- I said "Lidia".
- Yes.

Lidia, Lidia, Lidia... You see?

I knew you loved her and not me.

And so I said,

"Let's see how long
he sticks it out.”

"Let's see how long it is
before he goes back to her."

So I tormented you...

But the more I tormented you,
the more you gave in.


You thought of her...

and maybe slept with other women...

because otherwise you wouldn't have
put up with thirty scary years,

because you've been scared of me
for thirty years.

Or rather, you used to be scared of me,
now you're scared for me.


we have lived through a disaster...

you're right.

I don't like anything about my life.
I don't like you, I don't like myself.

I don't even like our kids.

Perhaps I've realised why I wanted you
to come back so much.

Because I thought,
"If he comes back, I can leave."

I imagined saying to you,
"Now I'm the one who's walking out."

But I'm still here.

Have you finished?

Well done.

Feel better now you've got that
off your chest?

You know everything.

You know that Labes is dead...

that I've seen Lidia again...

that I've been with other women...


With this face?

Have you had a good look at me?

You think you know everything,
you know nothing!

How do I feel?
What were my thoughts all these years?

You know what I've realised?
The only thing I've learnt from my life?

That I've never got angry.

I've tried to justify everyone,
understand everyone,

but I've never got angry.

And I don't even feel like
explaining to you

this thing about the dictionary,
about Labes, it's pure madness!

I don't feel like explaining,
I've no energy left. Okay?

I've never had any energy,
never mind now!

I've no energy, I've never had any.

I've never got angry,

not even when that girl
conned me out of 30 euros!

Not even when Rai
cancelled my programme,

not even when, like today,
burglars trashed our apartment!

And a person who never gets angry
is like someone who hasn't lived,

as if they still had to begin!

It's like saying,
"Okay, one day I'll explode."

But it's too late to explode!

It's too late to explode!
That's the only thing I've realised.

If you want to stay together...

you mustn't talk.

The bare essentials.

Keep silent, all the time.


Can you give me a hand?
There's something behind the wardrobe.


You're always so punctual.

Being punctual...

is for sad people like you.

Here are the keys.

When did you lose yours?

When you lose something,
you lose it. But thanks.

- You're leaving tomorrow?
- Yes, early.

Are you going to Greece?

I told Mum I was going to Crete
so she wouldn't worry.

But I'm staying here.

I'm broke and I'm pissed off.

What with?

With everything.

What are you doing tonight?

I'm having an early night,
my train leaves at dawn.

I have to go to La Spezia to pick
Corinne up, I'll stay with her three days,

leave her with her mother,
then go and see the twins.

We could have eaten together.

Are you crazy, Anna?
You have to feed the cat.

I'm not going, I've never been.

But you promised Mum.

Yes, I promised her,

but being all alone in that house
fills me with anguish.

Why do we meet in the shoelace bar?

This is the shoelace bar?

I can tell it bothers you to come here.

I'll go then,

I'll feed Labes tonight too,

but don't bust my balls.

Which ex are you going
to be enslaved by tonight?


Come on, let's go together.

Crikey, it stinks of pee,
it's disgusting!

Another good reason
not to hang around.

You're disgusting!

You're disgusting, you know!

You'd think it bothered you
to spend time with me.

And it upsets you when I mention that
day with the shoelaces. And I know why.


Because you asked to see him again.

Dad wanted to see us,
it had nothing to do with me.

But you kept asking Mum
to let us see him.

Think what you want.

Why did she agree then?

We'd got used to being
without him over the years.

She should have refused.

You want to see Sandro and Anna?
Well you can't, it's over.

Just leave it.

Why should I leave it?
Why don't you tell me things?

Because things should be forgotten.

I can't do that.

There, let's go.

Don't be a bitch...

I thought Mum and I
couldn’t cope with you.

I thought if Dad could see
the state you were in,

he'd have realised you needed him,
and come back to help us.

So, you think Dad changed his mind
for my sake?

We might not have admitted it,

but all three of us hoped he'd come home.

On the morning we went to see him,
it was our mother who said to you,

"have you noticed the ridiculous way
your brother ties his laces?

It's your father's fault. Tell him that."

And soon after Dad came home.

For Mum, for me, for you.

For these fucking shoelaces.

Every one of us is responsible.

The only... ties...

Mum and Dad have ever known,

were those used

to torture one another
throughout their lives.

Our mother passed on
all her faults to you

and you made them even worse.

What the fuck do you want?
Fuck off!

Leave me alone!

You know, I've been turning
this idea over in my head lately.

Why don't we ask Mum and Dad
to sell this house?

It's worth at least a million
and a half, we can split it.

Why would they sell it
and give us the money?

- Because it's our inheritance.
- And where would they live?

In a smaller house,
and we'd pay their rent.

You're crazy...

Think about it, why do you
always make me look mean?

How would you react if your kids
did the same to you in 20 years?

The only thing my parents taught me
was you shouldn't have kids.

And I had none, and I never will.

I make sure my kids have all they need
when I'm with them,

I'm both their father and mother.

You chose not to have any

and you wouldn't know,
so you're talking nonsense.


What Dad's really to blame for

is not being able
to completely reject us.

Because when you do something
that really hurts someone,

you have to take
full responsibility for the crime.

The other day

looking though the Latin dictionary
I use for private lessons,

know what I found?

- Are you still giving private lessons?
- Come and see.

Look, "labes".

"Fall, collapse, ruin, destruction, plague,

pest, fault, shame, disgrace,

But why?

Why would a man play these little tricks?

Because he's cruel?

Or because he's unhappy?

Mum always said he was a passive man.

But he isn't passive!

Being passive is his strength,
not his weakness.

You don't have a career lasting
40 years if you're not smart.

He was just an ordinary man...

who made a career
from saying clever things.

He was ordinary-clever.

While Mum is exactly
what happened to her.

- Mum fought for what she wanted!
- She fought for what she didn't want.

And nearly died.

- Where would they put all their stuff?
- We'll throw it all away.

Dad keeps all the crap he wrote
when he was thirteen years old.

He's hardly Dante Alighieri, dammit!

He's a man who wrote nonsense
for the radio, then TV, that's all.

There are things in this house
you don't know about it.

- Tell me.
- I won't tell you, I'll show you.


The first time I saw her...

something snapped.

I thought:

"She's so beautiful,
she's so beautiful!

When I grow up,
I want to be just like her"

I realised I no longer wanted
to be like our mother.

I've always felt guilty
for thinking that.

I knew he was cheating on her,

but I wanted to shout out,

"Dad, Lidia, take me for a walk with you.
I want to come with you,

I don't want to stay with Mum,
she scares me."

How long have you known
about these photos?

About 30 years.

What else do you know
that I don't?

I'm not sure, but I think Dad
cheated on her after he came home.

What about Mum?

I'm convinced she's had lovers too.

At school, after school...

We need proof, not hunches.

I've never wanted to look for proof.
But if we do, we'll find some.

Come on then, let's clear this up.

Let's clear this up...

What do you mean?

Let's look for this proof.

- When, now?
- Yes, now!


Come on, let's get to it'!


Are you for real?
What are you doing?


Come here.

Where did you get to?

Let's go.

What about these?

Hide them somewhere.

But Mum will find them.


Puss wants to come with me.

You should let Mum know first.

I wouldn't dream of it.

- She'll suffer.
- But the cat won't.