The complex lives of a group of seemingly very different tenants in a cheap Roman apartment building come crashing together in “Tainted Souls,” an inventive and unsettling Italian crime film that’s part “Babel,” part “The Godfather.”
The film, set to debut later this week at Venice, connects together characters as diverse as bisexual body builder Marcello, his loving wife Chiara, the cold-blooded drug dealer Mauro, his perhaps innocent wife Simona, local crime boss Carmine, and a host of other Romans all attempting to build lives in the face of brutal extremes.
In an official statement, directors Matteo Botrugno and Daniele Coluccini explained the inspiration for their new drama, which compellingly blends two seemingly disparate sides of one city.
“‘Tainted Souls’ is a film that portrays the two different souls of the city of Rome,” the pair said. “In the first part, set in the outskirts of the city, in a building in Via Vermeer, different situations are connected to form a kaleidoscope of stories and lives; it’s a river of humanity that runneth over, and Mauro surfaces: a local drug dealer who morphs into a ruthless entrepreneur. The second part of the film takes place in downtown Rome, a disturbingly cold, ascetic, posh environment in which Mauro loses his own humanity.”
Botrugno and Coluccini added, “The directing style serves the narrative, free from mannerisms, to adhere as closely as possible to the reality of the story; only in a few sequences that have a dream-like, poetic quality have we adopted a more complex, refined style meant to amplify the experience of the vision.”
The film will have its world premiere in Venice Days at the Venice Film Festival on Friday, September 1. Check out our exclusive trailer below.