Stern Pictures is the movie’s co-producer
Simone Segre, a renowned Jewish surgeon, leads a comfortable, if somewhat solitary existence, in an elegant apartment in north eastern Italy. Simone’s moral code and his medical training are both challenged when he witnesses a hit and run and tries to assist the victim. Upon discovering Nazi symbols tattooed on the man’s chest, Simone decides to abandon him to his fate. Subsequently, Simone is tormented by guilt and surreptitiously finds and reaches out to the dead man’s working-class family, ingratiating himself into their midst and becoming ever more embroiled in their complicated lives.
Presented in the Venice International Film Critics’ Week competition, and the only Italian title in this year’s selection, Thou Shalt Not Hate is Mauro Mancini’s first full-length film. Prior to writing and directing this film, the filmmaker had made his debut in 2005 with the short film, Our Secret, and went on to work on other shorts, as well as in the TV and advertising arenas.
Written by Mancini in collaboration with Davide Lisino, the film is set in northeastern Italy and opens with a scene where we see the protagonist, Simone Segre, as a child, forced by his father (Cosimo Fusco) to choose which kitten he wants to save before drowning the remainder of the litter. We next see Simone as an adult, (Alessandro Gassman), now a well-known surgeon, intent on canoeing along a river. When he hears the noise of a car crash, he abandons the boat and immediately goes to offer his help. He discovers the driver who’s been seriously injured and as our doctor contacts the emergency services, he endeavors to reassure the man as he fashions a tourniquet out of a seat belt. However, he notices a small detail which sends shivers down his spine: the man has a swastika tattooed on his chest. Ever mindful of his father’s experiences as a Jewish survivor of the concentration camps, Segre loosens the tourniquet and flees the scene, leaving the man to his fate.
Thou Shalt Not Hate is an Italian-Polish co-production courtesy of Movimento Film (Italy) and Agresywna Banda and Stern Pictures(Poland), together with RAI Cinema and in association with Notorious Pictures. The feature film enjoys the support of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, the Polish Film Institute and the Lazio Region. Scheduled for 10 September, distribution in Italy is entrusted to Notorious Pictures, while international sales are in the hands of Intramovies.