MIRIAM 15 – Dear Andre, I don’t think I ever told you how I feel like when I’m shooting a movie.
The moment before the director shouts “Action”, I imagine diving into the sea with my fellow actors, the camera operator, the sound technician, the script supervisor. We take a run and we jump into the water, as we did as kids – and sometimes even now on some beach in Sardinia. Everybody underwater, in the deep, sheltered from noises and distractions, holding our breaths, trying to cover a distance in apnoea, without ever losing focus. Then the long ascent, still all together, without ever looking at each other but knowing we are close to one another, swimming in the same direction, until the “Cut!!!” that makes us surface again and makes us catch our breaths while we wait for the director to tell us if the take was good or not.
Well, that’s how I feel like these days.
As if someone fifteen days ago yelled “Action!”, and we all jumped into blue icy water, diving deeper than we thought we could, into the depths of the abyss. I’ve been holding my breath for fifteen days, with you Andre, and the whole of Italy. An apnoea of movements, of love. An apnoea of thoughts, because the less you stop to think the better. But, while we try to remain focused, it seems like small, thin but beautiful shafts of light filter down to the depths where we are hiding, and point us the way to the surface. And someone starts looking up, looking at the others, waiting for the slow but relentless ascent towards the end of this dive.
If we stay quiet – and it’s not hard – I can’t rule out that we could also hear the director starting to take a breath – a long breath, I know.. – before shouting “Cut!”. And hear him saying, moved, “Great! Beautiful scene, perfect…”
ANDREA 15 – In apnoea. And I thought I just got out of it. The Friday before Easter of 2017 I accepted a job offer in London. I had just bought a house in Turin and I was thinking about trying to build something, I wanted to stop and put down roots, in order to feel more like an adult, after graduating high school, graduating university and entering the working world. But I can’t say no to an offer. And so in January 2018 I found myself in London, leaving projects, friends, family and a house put on hold in my home country. An after a while life made me put on hold a person as well, and a very important one. But I was in London and I had to freeze everything, I had to live my own apnoea. Unlike you, I didn’t dive into the deep blue sea. Instead I decided to hold my breath under the light blue sky, or on the planes taking me back and forth from London Gatwick to Turin Caselle every week. I did it for 150 times, without ever catching my breath. The 20th of January 2020 I heard loud and clear the voice of the director of my destiny: “Cuuuut!”. “Mind the gap, as the Brits would say, you can get off”. I thought my own apnoea would be over, but then no, after only a month I was back at it. This time though, I am not the only one saying “I’ll see you when the assignment is over”. This time we are all in this together, me, you, the ones writing this story with us, the ones joining little by little like the runners joining Forrest Gump in one of the most beautiful scenes of the movie. There is Ciccio, Giulia, Veronica, Nicolino, Erika, Fabio, Maria, Rosaria. We are all quiet, in apnoea. Our writing speaks for us.