A year after Fellini’s centenary this film acknowledges his legacy - it’s literally a ‘running away to join the circus’ story based on the experiences of first-time director Nunzia De Stefano, a protégée of Matteo Garrone (Gommorah, Tale of Tales), who spent ten years living in a container park similar to the one she revisits in Nevia. “They’re called bi-storeys: two containers stacked one on top of the other and all of them interconnected… I feel a strong connection to that place, to its inhabitants” she told Cineuropa.
Her film is vivid and feels authentic, and boasts a remarkably unselfconscious performance from Virginia Apicella in the title role. She’s a hive of activity, disposing of trash for her neighbours for pocket money, and taking care of her little sister while the adults indulge in more lucrative, but far less purposeful, criminal activities. “Being born a girl here is really rubbish” says one friend - this doesn’t come as news. There’s something undeniably uplifting about the spirit and tenacity of Nevia, wise beyond her years and determined not to succumb to the fate being born female in a container park on the outskirts of Naples would generally guarantee.
Nevia won the Lizzani Award for cinematography at the 2019 Venice Film Festival.
”…an involving and affecting debut feature that’s shot with expressive naturalism and anchored by impressive acrobat-turned-actor Virginia Apicella.” - Sarah Ward, Screen International.
“Nunzia De Stefano’s first work, filmed in a container park on the outskirts of Naples, is striking for the quiet tenacity of its young protagonist” - Cineuropa.