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Genova | From Blighty With Love



2008 (UK) 133 min Drama

Michael Winterbottom
  1. Catherine Keener
  2. Colin Firth

  3. Sales Agent

    1. www.diaphana.fr/fiche.php?pkfilms=179
    2. IMDB Entry
    3. Trailer

    Have you seen it and what did you think? Please leave a comment

Michael Winterbottom’s (24 Hour Party People, A Mighty Heart) moving story of loss and displacement follows Joe (Colin Firth) and his daughters as they embark on a new life in the city of Genova, Italy after the death of his much-loved wife. It is a heart-warming tale of how one family comes to terms with grief and begins the first tentative steps towards a new future. Genova doesn’t pull its punches but its optimistic final message is that love (of a father and his daughters, or a daughter and her boyfriend, or a child for her lost mother) can help to conquer all.


Genova – A journey of Grief in an Italian city

Michael Winterbottom’s film ‘Genova’ is an insightful, heart-squeezing study of family dynamics. It’s a coming of age story that observes the nature of forgiveness and grief between a father and his two daughters as they learn to find their way in the spooky Italian city of Genova.

Switching from moments of harrowing grief to romantic cityscapes, the film gives its audience a rocky journey. You never know what emotion will be thrown at you next.

Why Genova?

Watching the film is a journey of cultural adjustment – it’s  as if Winterbottom wants to take his audience through the disorientating experience of landing in a completely foreign place. This is accentuated by Winterbottom’s signature use of hand-held cameras and informal style of doing takes.

“We had a lot of fun, it was more like having a holiday and making a home video on the side rather than actually making a film.” Genova was filmed on location in Italy, Sweden, UK and the US during the summer and winter of 2007

Winterbottom wanted to do something a bit closer to home and European in setting. Nearly all of Michael film hero’s are European: German, French and Italian, so he was particularly enthusiastic about making a film set in Europe

The film was inspired by a visit to the city of Genova that Michael Winterbottom made some years before making the film. Comparing it with Venice he says “the atmosphere is similar with very narrow alleyways.  It’s very beautiful, but also quite spooky”.  He was also inspired by the novels “Moderato Cantabile” by Marguerite Duras, borrowing the idea of two girls going to a piano lesson in a city with a port and Nic Roeg’s film ‘Don’t Look Now’ for its Venetian atmosphere.

A film about multi-culturalism

 It might seem unusual that Colin Firth, an English actor was cast into the role of ‘The father who moves from America’ – but in fact this greatly enriches the quality of the film as a representation of multi-cultural families. First and foremost, it accentuates the girls’ experience of displacement in the film, as the father is already a European. Beyond that, it is a refreshing reflection of the increasing multi-culturalism in families of the world today.

Talking about Colin Firth’s casting, Andrew Eaton says:

“It was important for Michael that the father be English as he’s English, as a director it was easier for him to tell that story.”

 A very personal story

Michael Winterbottom talks at length about the importance of this film for him, saying: “For me the film is about a father’s love for his children and the children’s relationship with each other, the death of the mother is just a starting point, I was more interested in looking at how they get on with the rest of their lives, to the extent that they can and the repetition of those daily things that is at the heart being in a family and at the heart of getting over their grief.”

 When Eaton had read the finished script he noticed how there were so many personal parallels. “If you look at all of Michael’s films, he’s always interested in dealing with family and displaced people and of people in situations of stress and danger and examining how they deal with that. The first thing that struck me when I read this script was how much of Michael’s life was in there. He has two daughters not dissimilar in age to the two girls in this story and there seemed to be echoes of Michael’s own life in it.”

 When can I see it?

Genova will be showing as part of the From Blighty with Love season across Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, from 5th to 18th March 2010, with a chance to put your questions live to British filmmakers live  after selected shows. The screening date for Genova is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday 9th March.


Time Out London
Evening Standard





  1. Posted March 4, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Indeed they are starting tomorrow:

    call – 39895050

    Get them on the door, or in advance from participating cinemas – check out:


  2. Posted March 8, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Dear Rashmi

    Thank you for your comment.

    Due to delays in certifying the films in the programme, it has not been possible to make tickets available online until now.
    This is how you can book tickets:
    - in person at each of the venues
    - tickets will become available online as the films are certified.

    To book tickets for the PVR cinema venues, please go direct their website.
    To book tickets for the FAME cinema in Bangalore, please go direct to their website.
    Tickets for all other venues are available through Book My Show here

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