Roma é troppo lontana (Rome is too far away) is the third film I shot with my Italian students of the Escola Oficial de Idiomas. It is a tribute to the Peplum film genre (also know as “sword-and-sandal”), extremely popular in Italian film industry until the late 60’s (namely, when it was somehow replaced by the Spaghetti Western in the heart of the audience). Peplum films started off in Mussolini’s dictatorship as a way of glorifying ancient Rome and they went on in time alongside American colossals (which were mostly shot in the roman studios of Cinecittà). Both genres are very much related to each other in terms of subject, time and space, but they’re dramatically different in terms of budget.
Roma é troppo lontana is a 27 minute film, divided in three episodes. Each of this episodes was shot in a different Galician city: the first one in Lugo, the second one in A Coruña and the third one in Ourense. It tells the journey that Ottaviano, the Emperor’s son, makes to Galicia in the company of Tyresias, with the goal of guessing the three riddles posed by the Sybila. The film plays with the local stereotypes of the three cities, and in the long run it gets closer to Asterix and Obelix comics than to Italian peplum films. Like in previous films, I wrote the script, directed and edited the film, but the actors are all Italian students of the three locations.