Private Project

Burden Child

We who are children of poor peasants have our back curved from the weight of the burden we have been carrying, which is the same as the adults. That’s how it is, and why shouldn’t we be able to do that, given that we wear their own cast-off clothes and use the words they don’t use any more? Our thighs hurt from the effort of walking with the same long steps as the grown-ups. Of course, it is hard to be like the grown-ups, but what choice are we left with, given that we haven’t ever been allowed to be kids? …When we go back to school after being ill, the richest peasants’ children whisper in our ears – but not so low that they can’t be heard by the teacher – that walking down the street they have seen us on all fours in the potato field. It is not true, they can’t have seen us, because we don’t jump and stretch out in the furrows when kids who have the right to be kids walk down the street. It is impossible to hide the real nature of our illness, because our hands are never clean in the autumn. We scratch and rub them with the brush but the October’s soil stays where it is, in the space between the knuckles and all around the nails… If a real kid comes and sees us, and wants to play his games, we feel ashamed, we take him behind a depot where nobody can see us, and there we play his childish games: of course we don’t play well, we stumble jumping the rope and throw the marbles too hard. For this reason our playmates don’t come back any more, they get bored of us soon, they say we are clumsy and dumb. And it’s true, when we are with them we feel exactly like that. For this, we feel happy when they go away, even if we know they won’t come back ever again.

  • tommaso cotronei
    2021 Blood and the Moon 2015 doc Covered with the Blood of Jesus 2012 doc Rio Paraguay 2011 doc Scuola di Uomini 2010 doc Tierra 2009 doc Le Unghie Le Lacrime La Rosa 2008 doc Preparativi di Fuga 2007 doc Ritrarsi 2005 doc Lavoratori
  • tommaso cotronei
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    25 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 19, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    No Dialogue
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • tommaso cotronei

Distribution Information
  • tommaso cotronei
    Country: Italy
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - tommaso cotronei

Tommaso Cotronei was born in a small town in Calabria, in Southern Italy, where, still very young, started to work in the fields with his parents in the rural countryside. Struck by a place that gives no hopes but backbreaking labour, no chances of wishing for something different, Cotronei finds the strength to flee from his situation at 21. He spends several years looking for something that would suit his hopes while temporarly working as a manual worker in Northern Europe. He gets into the humanities, helping him finding some stability in life. He attends classes at the Philosophy Dpt. at University of Rome La Sapienza, without graduating. In 1993 he luckily becomes Film Director Vittorio De Seta's assistant, while the former was working on his film “Calabria”. Cotronei finally finds in cinema a means of self-expression. In 1997 he films his first oeuvre, NEL BLU CERCANDO FIABE (In the blue looking for fairy-tales). Cotronei's gaze is not the distant gaze of the Ethnologist, far from the “people”; he does not tease the audience to look at manifestations of subaltern, traditional life as “picturesque”, with a smile or complacent interest. Cotronei's gaze stares at parents' anguish while they are looking at their children condemned to lead the same, forsaken existence.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

2021 Ismaeel choice
2017 doc Blod And The Moon
2015 doc Covered with the Blood of Jesus
2012 doc Rio Paraguay
2012 doc The Difference
2011 doc Men's school
2010 doc Tierra
2009 doc Le Unghie Le Lacrime La Rosa
2008 doc Preparativi di Fuga
2007 doc Ritrarsi