A film by Yuri Ancarini
2019, 12 minutes
No. 253

Every time children visit their parents at San Vittore, Milan’s oldest prison, they’re subjected to thorough security checks - backpacks searched, toys checked, pat downs, metal detectors, endless waks down bare corridors.

While they wait, the children make drawings at a workshop run by a nonprofit organization. These drawings depict prison bars and bloodied dolls; in some, the prison is transformed into a castle and the prisoners into kings and queens. 

The power of this visually striking short documentary from acclaimed filmmaker Yuri Ancarini lies in the simplicity of the approach, with many close-ups, distinctive framing and sound design. Words are unnecessary—the sound of a slamming door speaks volumes as does the subtle aggression and intrusion of a security check. The lingering pyschological and emotional trauma of this process is clear.

Official Selection, New York Film Festival
Official Selection, Locarno Film Festival
Official Selection, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam
Official Selection, Viennale Film Festival