Written and Directed by Mikele Ferra
Director of Photography – Milu Grutta
Produced by MiranFilm & K37
Watch the Film https://vimeo.com/32460821
“The first moments after waking up are always alike. Each time you have the time to get scared”. Robertas is an ex paratrooper of the Red Army with an alcohol problem and post-traumatic stress disorder. It is a sudden awakening in an empty church that starts Robertas’ trip through the inside of that part of his past that never quits blending with the present; he needs to confront himself with his traumas that started out during his military service and that he still is unable to explain.
In this state half nightmare half hallucination, an unknown and cruel priest and a probable older alter ego named Fox take Robertas back to the barracks of the past. He finds himself doing press-ups, executing the same hideous orders, but it’s not like the repeating of the same nightmare, he rather realizes that for the first time he is actually facing the idea he had about the service that caused him all the suffering.
Idea according to which during the 2 years of service, a soldier goes through 4 phases, in which from acceptance of the suffering and abuse, a feeling of “higher status” starts to grow: the willingness of command and power towards other soldiers, and through this power, a soldier can bear pain, and finally defeat it.
Suffering and power, month after month one decreases while the other grows.. You do get beaten less because you have more rights to beat someone else. This is because the backbone on which the Army lies on is the principal of Fear. The newcomers’ fear towards the elder soldiers who represent the structure of power.
But time passing means that the end gets nearer, and this knowledge allows the elder soldiers to make pleasure out of suffering, thus entering the “beatitude state”.
Robertas’ reaction is a cathartic cry, the affirmation of “his” truth: one obtains beatitude only when one is a soldier, but when the Service is over, beatitude is over, too.
Suffering actually returns in the shape of a civil life that is no longer yours, of nightmares that don’t go away, of vodka, of that feeling of belonging that slowly fades away, living only a void, filled only by loneliness.
Just as if that paratrooper had really become an angel, because with the end of the Service, his identity as a man is gone too, and his last day as a paratrooper equals to his death.