Travel & Culture Video: “Portrait Of A Place – Paradiso”, Italy (Nowness)

Filmed and Directed by: Jan Vrhovnik

Written by: Ana Kerin
Music by: Nico Casal

Meet Giovanni Mancusou, a small-town Italian man who lives on Italy’s Mediterranean coast. The wisened Calabrian invites the viewer into his sun-washed world of bright orange sun umbrellas, cool blue seas, freshly baked pastries and fresh vegetables.

Directed by Jan Vrhovnik, written by Ana Kerin and music score by Oscar-winning Nico Casal, Paradiso is less story and more a poetic thought piece. Dipping into a snapshot of life for an aging man from Italy, whimsical moments like the swatting of a fly are interspersed with provocative thoughts on life that can only come with the wisdom of an older man who has seen it all.

Giovanni Mancusou was a chance meeting for the team who traveled to Calabria to seek out the very essence of nostalgia. They stumbled upon him in a corner shop and were taken by the poetic way in which he used language to convey a longing for simplicity. Completely improvised, his philosophical musings—weighing heavy with nostalgia and unexpected wisdom—are what punctuate the themes of this memory-inducing short.

A film of contrasts, Paradiso serves to distill the truth in Giovanni’s words. Though momentary, humble and mundane, flashes of true happiness must be savored. Paradiso outlines that to be rich in life, one need only look to nature, a table full of friends and good food: the very essence of a Mediterranean summer.

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