Oltre il Confine

104 min, 35mm

by Rolando Colla with Anna Galiena, Senad Basic Original version in Italian Switzerland/Italy
Press Review
Press Reviews (November 2002)

Rolando Colla is one of the few outstanding Swiss film directors. In his second feature, OLTRE IL CONFINE, he does not treat familiar psychological problems for the n’th time, but attempts to see himself as part of the historical events raging around him, which have made him a committed witness of his times.
(Freddy Buache, founder of the Cinémathèque, Le matin, 18/8/02)

In competition at the Locarno International Film Festival, OLTRE IL CONFINE, by Swiss film director Rolando Colla is a powerful film. Colla employs a sober tone, avoiding any pathos or sentimental affectation. Colla explores the rift or more precisely the gaping abyss left behind by the war. His subject matter is the dreadful, intolerable expulsion of families torn apart by the stupidity of human beings, by those who kill and those who ruthlessly seal their borders. Colla's film is about all wars.
(Bernard Léchot, Swissinfo, 9/8/02)

It is 1993. A patient at a home for war veterans becomes seriously ill. The doctor at the home entrusts him to the care of a Bosnian refugee for the night. But the next morning, the commanding officer has the undocumented man arrested and locked up. At this point the veteran's daughter gets involved. She feels obligated to help the refugee, who risks being sent back to a war zone for having made a humane gesture. Thus, tales of escape, the expulsion of asylum seekers from Switzerland and bombing raids in Bosnia are brought together... OLTRE IL CONFINE is an emotionally thrilling film, a vividly rendered dramatisation, that makes one reflect upon the discord and contradictions in today's world.
(Antonello Catacchio, Il manifesto, 8/8/02)

The Turin architect Agnese (Anna Galiena), daughter of a war veteran who lives in an old people's home, meets the undocumented Bosnian refugee Reuf (Senad Basic). The current tragedy (it is 1993, during the siege of Sarajevo) brings back memories of events she experienced fifty years earlier. Straightforward, well acted, an honest film.
(Roberto Nepoti, Repubblica, 9/8/02)

OLTRE IL CONFINE is a topical work, moving and significant, an essential film. After being screened on the cinema circuit, it will provoke discussion as a primetime TV movie, compelling audiences to refrain from channel hopping.
(Ugo Brusaporco, La Regione di Locarno, 9/8/02)

OLTRE IL CONFINE is a strong testimonial to the responsibility rich nations have towards weaker ones. It is also a rigorous indictment against the laws that close borders and condemn the refugees seeking to build up a new life across the border. Anna Galiena is the vibrant and sensitive protagonist of this story and, at her side, Senad Basic, with his subtle expressiveness, is truly a revelation.
(Flora Descalzi, L'Avvenire, 9/8/02)

On average, the level of the competition is rather poor, but as is often the case, there have been a few highlights. One is GERRY by Gus Van Sant. The other film I loved (and the more I think about, the more I like) is OLTRE IL CONFINE by Rolando Colla. The script borders on, but fails to quite reach perfection; it is nevertheless a very compact piece of work. It is rendered in a balanced manner and with a sense for the essential. Overall, the last Cannes festival certainly had some films of higher quality. But if I had to compare the highlights of both festivals, I would favour Van Sant and Colla.
(Marco Lombardi from l'Unità , interview in Giornale del Popolo, 9/8/02)

In Rolando Colla's OLTRE IL CONFINE, the personal dimension is expanded into the realm of contemporary history. The film is about the war in Yugoslavia, about death and escaping it, and the plot is constructed very quietly and discreetly. Its emotionality is synonymous with truth.
(Christoph Schneider, Tages-Anzeiger, 10/8/02)

One of the film's great merits is that it places the war in ex-Yugoslavia in a broader European context. Accordingly, a large abundance of issues is raised. This occasionally leads to a standardized treatment, which the excellent actors however do manage to mitigate.
(Mathias Heybrock, Basler Zeitung, 10-11/8/02)

A special mention goes to the Swiss entry OLTRE IL CONFINE by Rolando Colla, who convincingly, movingly and passionately portrays the experiences of a refugee, despite this being a favourite Swiss theme.
(Rolf Breiner, Die Südostschweiz, 10/8/02)

OLTRE IL CONFINE confirms Rolando Colla's talent: he can tell an exiting story, has an impeccable command of the filmmaking craft and avoids relying on the "message".
(Film und TV-Kameramann, 09/02)

Another notable entry in the recent series of Italian films dealing with problems of Italy's neighbours and the impact these have on Italian life and culture. Set in the early 90s, whilst the Bosnian conflict was still going on, this film follows the actions of a woman who is spurred on to help rescue a child stranded in the middle of the war zone. This is a film that deals frankly with the terrible plight of refugees and the problems of Western governments and their communities in coping. But, more than anything Across the Border is a moving, human story about one woman's social awakening and how her own guilt about the experiences of her father leads her to an unprecedented act of heroism and kindness. Utterly believable characterisations and extremely realistic situations (including a very palpable sense of what it is like to be in physical danger) make Across the Border a convincing, thought provoking and extremely watchable movie.
(Adrian Wootton, Executive Director of the International London Film Festival 2002)