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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Czech Republic / Italy

Francesco Montagner’s documentary Brotherhood charts three siblings’ coming of age


- The sophomore feature-length doc by the Italian-born, Czech-based director follows three siblings who get a chance to grow up outside the influence of their Salafist preacher father for two years

Francesco Montagner’s documentary Brotherhood charts three siblings’ coming of age
Brotherhood by Francesco Montagner

Italian-born, Czech-based documentary filmmaker Francesco Montagner returns to the Locarno Film Festival after participating in the Locarno Filmmakers Academy in 2019. At that time, he was working on a short, silent, experimental film, Taurophilia, an audiovisual poem on traditional Spanish bull taxidermy and man’s tendency towards violence. Montagner will be unveiling his sophomore feature, Brotherhood [+see also:
film review
interview: Francesco Montagner
film profile
, at the upcoming 74th edition of the Locarno Film Festival, in the Concorso Cineasti del Presente competition section.

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The film follows the family of a Salafist preacher, Ibrahim Delić, and his three sons in Bosnia. The patriarch has been sentenced to two years in prison for terrorism, leaving his sons to fend for themselves. Jabir, Usama and Useir were born into a family of shepherds, so their primary responsibilities include looking after the flock and the household. However, they now have an opportunity to carve out their own path and identity outside the influence of their dominant father.

Brotherhood covers a four-year period in the lives of the Delić siblings. Contrary to Montagner’s previous effort, Taurophilia, the filmmaker has opted for an approach based on the intimate observation of their coming of age. He tracks the brothers as they navigate their desires and choices, and suffer the consequences in their passage to manhood. “In their restless struggle, they argue and wrestle, and each finds his own escape from a written destiny: school, love and religion give them answers to the questions of life, but as the film progresses, it becomes clear that there are major differences between ideals and reality,” explains the director.

Brotherhood is being produced by Czech company nutprodukce, and co-produced by Italian production outfit Nefertiti Film, RAI Cinema, Czech Television, FAMU, ARTE GEIE and Al Jazeera Documentary. The Czech Film Fund, Eurimages, MiC-Direzione Generale Cinema e Audiovisivo, the Friuli Venezia Giulia Audiovisual Fund, SIAE and the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia supported the film. Germany’s Deckert Distribution handles the international rights.

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