Tre Piani: why does Nanni Moretti’s new film echo the current situation? -…

Passed by the Cannes Film Festival, where Nanni Moretti had won the Palme d’Or two decades earlier, “Tre Piani” evokes confinement in its way of focusing on the inhabitants of the same building. But it has been shot before.


A series of events will radically transform the existence of the inhabitants of a Roman building, revealing their difficulty in being a parent, brother or neighbor in a world where resentment and fear seem to have got the better of living together. While the men are prisoners of their stubbornness, the women try, each in their own way, to mend these disunited lives and to finally transmit serenely a love that one would have thought to have disappeared forever …


“One building. Three families. Three destinies”, promises the trailer. And a feature film whose action remains mainly confined in the apartments and on the landings of its characters who meet but ultimately speak little to each other, and hide secrets behind their respective doors. A device which, in itself, is not innovative. But which has taken on another dimension since March 2020 and the first confinement.

Except that the fifteenth feature film directed by Nanni Moretti (and the first of which he is not the author of the original idea) has been shot before. With Benedetta and The French Dispatch, he was one of those feature films selected in 2020 who preferred to wait for the next edition of the Cannes Film Festival to compete in Competition, rather than settle for a simple label. And, in the case of the transalpine director, trying to run for a second Palme, twenty years after that of La Chambre du fils.

“The book ‘Three floors’ was not written in response to the Covid-19 epidemic [mais au début des années 2000, ndlr]”, explains the Israeli Eshkol Nevo, author of the novel from which the film is inspired, in a note of intention. “The wonderful film version of Nanni Moretti was also shot, edited and ready to release before phrases like ‘confinement’, ‘social distancing’ and ‘isolation’ became part of our lives. And yet, when I saw it the movie last week, I couldn’t help but think it was coming to the big screen at the right time. “

The film is an invitation to open up to the outside world that fills our streets, outside our homes.

“After months of being forced to keep our distance, of being forcibly separated from our parents and friends for too long periods of time, Tre Piani is a powerful reminder of the strength of intimate relationships. benefits and difficulties: within couples, between parents and children, between neighbors. “

Difficult, in fact, not to see in Tre Piani an echo of the situation we have been living for a little less than two years now. If not because, beyond his favorite themes (family relationships in mind), the Italian filmmaker stages characters who, although geographically close to each other, face great loneliness.

“What happens to these characters shows us how much we are all concerned by the common effort to be made to feel part of a community”, explains the director in the press kit. “The film is an invitation to open up to the outside world that fills our streets, outside our homes. It is up to us not to remain locked in our ‘three floors’ again.”

Tre piani: why does nanni moretti's new film echo the current situation? -...
The pact

Daria Delforian and Alba Rohrwacher

Divided into three intertwining segments, in a story which, unlike the book from which it is inspired, ends after the crisis that everyone is facing, Tre Piani also speaks of transmission, through issues that are also very current: “At a time when we talk a lot about what we will leave to our children in ecological terms, we talk little about what we will leave to them in ethical and moral terms.ux. “

“Every gesture we make, even in the privacy of our home, has consequences that will affect future generations. Each of us must be aware and responsible: our actions are what we leave as a legacy to those who come. after U.S.” A film simple in appearance but which, like its protagonists, hides more things than it seems.

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