Delta, everything you need to know about the film with Alessandro Borghi and Luigi Lo Cascio

Delta, The film directed by Michele Vannucci, after the presentation at the Locarno Film Festival arrives in cinemas from Thursday 23 March

Set in the evocative and misty scenery of the Po Delta, the feature film stages the eternal conflict between poachers and fishermen. Osso (Luigi Lo Cascio) wants to defend the river from the indiscriminate fishing of the Florian family, fleeing the Danube. Together with the Florians there is Elia (Alessandro Borghi), who was born there. Overwhelmed by blind violence and a desire for revenge, the two men will face off in the mists of the Delta. A challenge that will bring to light their authentic nature. Between emotions and plot twists, a duel in which neither contender will be a hero. Emilia Scarpati Fanetti, Greta Esposito, Marius Bizau, Denis Fasolo and Sergio Romano are also part of the cast. Casting by Manuela De Santis and Sara Casani.

Deltathe words of Alessandro Borghi and Luigi Lo Cascio

Speaking of the film, Alessandro Borghi, who plays Elia, said: “Delta it is a film that I carry in my heart because it tells a sincere story. We don’t give up, we keep telling stories, without algorithms, without influencers, without box office music. Cinema deserves to be difficult, it deserves not to be for everyone, because what is for everyone is necessarily mediocre”. The other protagonist of the feature film is Luigi Lo Cascio. The actor from Palermo, who flaunts for the occasion a perfect Northern Italian accent, he added:

“For this role it was necessary not to prepare, otherwise I would have reproduced something I already knew. When I read the script I was so fascinated by it that I met the director to tell him that I didn’t think I was capable of playing Bone. The script is very thin, my character is in charge of controlling the balance between land and water, he is an ecological guard because in the delta region there is a real risk of being submerged at any moment”.

Deltathe statements of the director Michele Vannucci

I lived in Bologna. Stories of fishermen and wild lands came to town as legends. In Paolo Rumiz’s book, “Morimondo”, a diary of a journey along the river, I came across a testimony of those who were then called “the pirates of the Po”: foreign poachers spotted along the banks, like ghosts. So, for two years I explored the great river, got to know its inhabitants. In those lands where flooding is still a mystery to be feared, the desire to rediscover an imaginary world and tell it through a genre film has grown in me: a river Western, a contemporary conflict between indigenous and foreign communities, fighting along the border.

I come from the cinema of reality and my way of narrating passes through the encounter. I feel cinema as a social art, as a way to create a relationship between me and the witnesses of a story. Thus, in recent years, the delta has become my second home, to the point of feeling like an adopted son of those lands. I wanted to show the river’s submerged worlds, which can only be observed from the water. The abandoned landscapes of its banks and the hidden life that continues to resist.

I recorded hours of interviews, collected videos, repertoires, photos, stories. Together with Matteo Vieille, cinematographer of the film, we made a photographic reportage. Portraits, landscapes, travel notes from which we created the visual story of the film. Delta is a story that tries to take reality one step further, creating an imaginary. An imaginative listening to lives that are not mine in order to be able to answer some questions that, instead, belong to me deep inside: what is the limit of endurance before reacting to violence? What does violence leave in the soul of those who commit it? And when not acting makes us accomplices? The film was born from the encounter between these questions and the testimonies gathered along the banks. Stories of solitudes and wild lives; tales of bandits and sheriffs. Iconic characters or ordinary lives overwhelmed by the fury of the river.

After years spent in the Roman suburbs to make my first film, The Greatest Dream, I have found in this northern province that same desire to self-organize to create a world in which one can be better than one’s own destiny. The Volunteer Fish Guards are an active citizen organization created to protect the river. For a handful of years I followed them as, after battling industrial spills, they tried to stop poaching. Hungry for justice, they demanded respect for the river. The once fish-filled waters were now empty. At night, in the cold, I followed them in disbelief in their patrols. Sometimes frustration sparked anger even in the most peaceful of them. They lived on the border, their tolerance limit, and I followed them, trying to figure out what mine was.

From the very beginning I thought about Delta like an action film with strong social implications. A manhunt in which the two protagonists, Elia and Osso, are both executioners and victims of a conflict that hangs over them. Two identities on the run, each fighting with its own ghost, who discover in their duel an irreducible part that unites them. Something so terrifying, yet so human. I thought of Delta as a folk tale, a journey along the river that leads to an Italian heart of darkness. Following this emotion without judging it, the film tells what remains in the lives of the protagonists once possessed by violence. Madness, annihilation, living as strangers to oneself. Men and women in search of a better future, hopelessly lost in the fog, struggling not to succumb to their instincts.