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Ligabue’s Da Zero a Dieci

“My future is a 9 or a 4, depending upon how I wake up. Tomorrow my future is 9, because tomorrow I go to Rimini”

The Rimini of Da Zero a Dieci is a very different one to that of Fellini’s Amarcord, though no less mythic or surreal. It’s the Rimini of tourism, a Rimini that offers everything, the European Las Vegas. This conception of Rimini, is central to the film – where four men in their thirties return to the resort to relive a lost weekend.


Talking about the reasons why he chose to set the film in Rimini, director Luciano Ligabue commented “Rimini has this strong tourism, even though, while it’s a seaside resort, the sea in reality isn’t that attractive. That’s not the reason people go to Rimini. Behind it there’s this huge capacity to get your hands dirty, of the people who live there, who’ve managed to create a place where there’s everything. There’s everything for families and kids, and at the same time there’s everything for those who want the worst perversions. These extremes make it a mirror. You go there, and depending what you look for, you see how disgusting you are, or instead how much you like yourself”.

The film opens with a group of four friends, each discontented with their lives for one reason or another. Dieci a Zero refers to the idea that everything we do in life is subject to judgement, on a scale of zero to ten. To escape this, if only for a weekend, the group return to Rimini to meet up with four girls they met there twenty years before.

For the first half of the film, Dieci a Zero seems to simply be a film about growing up/old. Rimini, then, is a playground, where age and responsibility can be temporarily shrugged off. Half-way through, though, the film takes a decidedly dark turn, when we learn that there’s a dark secret linking the protagonists together. The return to Rimini is, in fact, an attempt to resolve something from their past, a past that takes in Italy’s dark period of terrorism in the 1970s and 1980s – the so-called anni di piombo [years of lead].

The film is the second directorial outing of Luciano Ligabue, one of Italy’s favourite rock stars, who is himself from the Emilia Romagna region. Given that rock stars generally don’t transfer well to other cultural arenas, Ligabue is an exception. His first film Radio Freccia, a film about growing up in provincial Emilia Romagna, garnered universal acclaim, from film critics and the public alike. He has published novels and poetry alongside his albums. The thing that connects them all is a talent for storytelling.

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