Felix's Diary| 1hr : 14mins
Director: Emiliano Mancuso | Producer: ZONA in association with Andrea Tarquini for PCM STUDIO
Focus Years: 2014 | Country: Italy
“You’re probably wondering who I think I am I to say these things. Well, if you really want to know, I'll tell you, I’m one of those guys considered to be a good-for-nothing, avoided by decent people, one of those guys who think they can do what they want and don’t care about the world around them, well, that’s how I was classified, labeled as damaged goods, considered unable to take care of myself, reduced to having to ask permission to go out; they took away my freedom... I’ve been living in a group home for ten months and I have sixteen more to go and I don’t think it’ll be easy, but I hope to survive so I can get rid of my label.” This was taken from a letter hidden under a mattress written before leaving Casa Felix, a group home for minors with family and criminal issues located in the eastern outskirts of Rome. I’m a photojournalist with Contrasto photo agency. When I began Casa Felix, I was looking for stories about troubled kids living in difficult circumstances for a reportage, but I became completely overwhelmed by the lives of some of these adolescents: contradictory, emotional, difficult and above all, intense and real. Valerio is in remanded custody, serving nine months for misdemeanors. He doesn’t seem to want much from life except to have fun and not think about the future. He comes from a broken home: he lives with his mother but he idolizes his father, who is currently in prison. Giuseppe, who was taken from his parents, has been living in the group home for almost two years after having spent six years in other foster care facilities. He has a twin sister and two younger brothers scattered in other institutions and foster homes. He’s taking a course as a cook’s assistant and dreams about turning eighteen so he can live with his father again and put his divided family back together. And then there’s Emad, an Egyptian boy who arrived in Sicily by boat without knowing where he was exactly, and without a family or any relatives in Italy. He has to pay off a debt to the human traffickers who brought him over by doing forced illegal work. I spent a year with them. We studied together, talked, went to the beach and amusement park, we cried and laughed together. I expected to find an exposé or an investigative story, but what I found was an urban tale about friendship and normal adolescents who had their basic rights denied.
Felix's Diary | 1hr : 14mins
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