36 user 26 critic

Nirvana (1997)

The main character Solo in Nirvana, a computer game developed by Jimi for release in 3 days, has gained self-awareness after a virus attack. Solo wants to be deleted. Jimi wants to find his ex.


Gabriele Salvatores, Pino Cacucci (screenplay collaborator) | 1 more credit »
5 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Lambert ... Jimi Dini
Diego Abatantuono Diego Abatantuono ... Solo
Sergio Rubini ... Joystick
Stefania Rocca ... Naima
Amanda Sandrelli Amanda Sandrelli ... Maria
Emmanuelle Seigner ... Lisa (as Emanuelle Seigner)
Claudio Bisio Claudio Bisio ... Corvo Rosso
Antonio Catania Antonio Catania ... Venditore Paranoie
Gigio Alberti Gigio Alberti ... Dr. Rauschenberg
Ugo Conti Ugo Conti ... Turista Siciliano
Silvio Orlando ... Portiere Indiano
Oreste Guidi Oreste Guidi ... Tedesco
Hal Yamanouchi ... Okasama Starr (as Haruhiko Yamanouchi)
Avinash Ganesh Avinash Ganesh ... Avinash
Antonello Grimaldi ... Portiere Pakistano


Jimi, a successful computer game designer, finds that his latest product has been infected by a virus which has given consciousness to the main character of the game, Solo. Tormented by the memory of his fled girlfriend Lisa and begged by Solo to end its useless "life", Jimi begins a search for people who can help him both to discover what happened to Lisa and to delete his game before it is released. Written by Sembola

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, violence, drug use and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The (original) Italian version of the movie is slightly longer since some minor dialogue was shortened or cut for length for the English dubbed version. See more »


Maryann: I am light transport unit Maryann, back off you bastards or I'll blast you.
[Joystick approaches the truck]
Maryann: Didn't i tell you to back off shithead? I wouldn't dare touch me if I were you, you stupid son of a bitch.
[Joystick starts hacking into the trucks security mainframe]
Maryann: Just what the fuck are you doing anyway? Trying to kill yourself. There are 3,000 volts running under my paint job, would you like to feel that?
Joystick: I'd love to feel that. Lady just stop talking, you just a crock of shit.
Maryann: Just touch ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The last credit states as unintentional every reference to "person, things and trademarks". See more »

Alternate Versions

During 1997, shortly after it was released in Italy, Miramax's Dimension label dubbed Nirvana into English, in order to give it more mainstream appeal for the American market. See more »


References Max Headroom (1987) See more »


John Barleycorn (must die)
Written by Steve Winwood (as S.L. Linwood)
Performed by Traffic
See more »

User Reviews

Possibly a masterpiece, butchered for its American DVD release (Miramax)
15 February 2015 | by rooprectSee all my reviews

I've been a fan of Gabrielle Salvatores' dreamy, surrealistic style ever since I saw the first 5 minutes of "Denti" (2000). Now there's a film for movie buffs to sink their teeth into, lame pun intended. I immediately went on the hunt and found his follow up films, "Io non ho paura" (2003) and "Quo Vadis Baby" (2005) which I also thoroughly enjoyed, and now I'm working my way backwards to his earlier films.

Then I saw "Nirvana" (1997) and it stopped me dead in my tracks. My first impression was that it's a really good story but the presentation fell short, felt incomplete and lacked authenticity. Then I found out that's because the Miramax (DVD) is a total hack job of the original film, with 20 minutes chopped off and distracting dubbing of all the actors' voices. In case you didn't already know, the original film is in Italian, and it was dubbed into English for this particular DVD.

The story itself is really interesting, and it's a cut above all the other cyberpunk movies that were churned out in the late 90s capitalizing on the burgeoning net culture. "Nirvana" is set in a dystopian future à la Bladerunner and follows 3 days in the life of a software programmer (Christopher Lambert) who is about to deliver his masterpiece virtual reality game called Nirvana. The problem: with only 3 days to go before it hits the market, the main character in the video game becomes self-aware and starts questioning the game he's in. The movie then splits into 2 concurrent timelines, one with Lambert trying to stop the game's release, and two with the video game character trying to understand his own existence.

With a good dose of action, lots of style and peppered with some good unexpected comedic moments, the film is entertaining. But (I'm assuming due to the Miramax hack job) it often feels rushed, disorienting or just plain nonsensical at times. If you watch the Miramax DVD (96 mins) be sure to take it with a grain of salt, or as I'm trying to do, hunt down the original 113 min Italian version which is generally loved by all who have seen it.

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Italy | France



Release Date:

24 January 1997 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Нирвана See more »

Filming Locations:

Genoa, Liguria, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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