Citizens of the World

Film, Comedy
4 out of 5 stars
Citizens of the World

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

This likeable, light-as-a-feather Italian comedy will top up your reserves of bonhomie.

This sweet, meandering wisp of an Italian film salutes the well-meaning dreamers and schemers among us – those who conjure up big plans while eyeing up just one more drink at the bar. It also has a gently humanitarian streak running through it – simplistic but winning all the same. Like Gianni Di Gregorio’s earlier films ‘Mid-August Lunch’ and ‘The Salt of Life’, it’s almost a one-man show – starring, written and directed by Di Gregorio himself – and again his theatre is the lived-in city-centre neighbourhood in Rome which we must presume he knows as well as the bar he props up most evenings.

Di Gregorio is The Professor (he’s a retired Classics teacher), and he starts plotting with two fellow retirees, workshy Giorgetto (Giorgio Colangeli), and bigger-than-life Attilio (the late Ennio Fantastichini) about how they should move abroad to make their meagre pensions go further. How about Bali? Or maybe The Azores? Or perhaps a quick glass of grappa while we consider the question further?

The deliberations unfold over a week, as the trio visit family, friends and acquaintances for advice or just another drink. A young Malian man, Abu (Salih Saadin Khalid), pops up occasionally: homeless, he uses the shower at Giorgetto’s ramshackle apartment and is saving up to join a relative in Canada. His dream of foreign travel couldn’t be more different. For them, it’s an amusing pastime; for him it’s a lifeline to another life. Rambling and conversational, ‘Citizens of the World’ is low-key but also undeniably heartwarming. It’s a gentle celebration of good company, good wine and good intentions. 

Available to stream in the UK on Curzon Home Cinema.


Release details

Cast and crew

Gianni di Gregorio
Gianni di Gregorio, Marco Pettenello
Gianni di Gregorio
Giorgio Colangeli
Ennio Fantastichini
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