( 2022, Italy, 70')
Inspired by Antonio Cossu’s short story collection Il vento e altri racconti (‘The Wind and other stories’), “Bentu” (Sardinian for ‘wind’) is the story of intergenerational exchange, of man challenging nature, and – writes Mereu in the director’s notes – “a story of friendship, of the human relationship between elderly Raffaele and the young Angelino, who matures through his training and initiation. Their rapport is lived in a condition of total isolation, in a place and at a time when the passage of a thresher is saluted as would the passage of a comet.”
Raffaele is a Sardinian farmer who just finished his harvest. It will need to last a full year. He has been sleeping in the fields for days, in isolation, anxiously waiting for wind, which will help him with threshing. The wind won’t show up, though, and only a boy, Angelino, ventures into the field to visit Raffaele. Angelino’s dream is to ride Raffaele’s mare, and he just cannot wait…
Salvatore Mereu (Dorgali, 1965) graduated at the Experimental Film Center in Rome. He filmed many short movies (Notte rumena, Miguel, Il mare). Ballo a tre passi earned him awards at the Settimana della Critica at the 2003 Venice Film Festival. Mereu was also awarded a David and a Ciak d’Oro as Best Emerging Director. His second film, Sonetàula (2008), was shortlisted at the Berlinale and is awarded the Foreign Press Golden Globe and the FIPA d’Or at the Biarritz Festival for Best Screenplay. The filmmaker was back in Venice in 2010 with Tajabone, and in 2012 with Bellas mariposas, an adaptation of Sergio Atzeni’s novel of the same name. In 2020, Mereu was in Venice with Assandira, out of competition.