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Verso nord (2004)

In southern Italy, Rollo, a nearly mute, large, muscular young man, is part of a crime gang. He wants to go on "an escort," to smuggle a ten-year-old Moroccan boy into Switzerland where ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maurizio Mattioli ... Mauro
Valerio Foglia Manzillo ... Rollo
Ana Papadopulu ... Elena
Bayed Mohamed Ismail ... Eddi (as Bayed Mohamed Ismael)
Claudio Bigagli ... Lerry
Vanni Bramati ... Gino
Alexander Cvetkovic ... Ivica (as Alexandar Cvetkovic)
Dante Marmone ... Pasquale
Rita del Piano ... Rollo's Mother
Mimmo Mancini ... Ian
Michel Rocher ... Doctor
Gaetano Amato ... Trucker
Manuela Metri
Antonio Pennarella
Stefan Bendula


In southern Italy, Rollo, a nearly mute, large, muscular young man, is part of a crime gang. He wants to go on "an escort," to smuggle a ten-year-old Moroccan boy into Switzerland where adoptive parents supposedly await him. The third person on this road trip is Mauro, a middle-aged nurse brought into the deal by his boss, a hospital physician, to make a quick buck. They head for Cannobio on what should be a one-day trip, but complications soon arise. Car trouble, a Bulgarian prostitute and her daughter, the boy's constant desire to play soccer, and Rollo's flashbacks to a troubled and violent childhood combine to challenge them in a world without conscience. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Also Known As:

Without Conscience  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

The Attraction of Opposites: Breaking Down Barriers
4 November 2005 | by See all my reviews

'VERSO NORD' ('Without Conscience') is one of those unheralded Italian films that deal with controversial subjects while retaining a story of human compassion and love. It is a film with equal parts brutality and tenderness and the direction and writing (Stefano Reali) and cast that make it work exceedingly well.

Mauro (Maurizio Mattioli) is an emotionally needy and lonely middle-aged male nurse, working for a physician (whom he wishes to impress) who connects Mauro with a group of questionable types led by Gino (Claudio Bigali) dealing in the transport of undocumented children from Morocco and other countries to 'buyers/adoptive parents'. When Mauro meets the smarmy crew and the boy Eddi (Mohamed Ismail Bayed) is selected, he is joined by a strangely quiet, powerfully brutal fighter, but exceptionally handsome young man Rollo (Valerio Foglia Manzillo). Mauro is the guardian, the driver of his boss' Mercedes, and the verbal member of the unlikely trio as they begin their drive from Rome to the Swiss border. Rollo is mysterious, seems to react to stimuli in a Pavlovian way, gets in to fights and trouble from the start, but becomes increasingly devoted to the mute Eddi in the back seat.

Mauro and Rollo gradually form an alliance out of need and out of mutual growing love for Eddi and for each other. Mauro senses a feral quality in Rollo, realizes through his inappropriate behavior towards bar girls that he has never experienced intimacy, and finds a prostitute Elena (Ana Papadopulu) who not only fills the sexual void in Rollo's life but also begins to teach him the gentle quality of intimacy. But with her comes the baggage of criminal pimps who further hamper the safety of Mauro's delivery mission. The film develops into a chase film with the now quartet of Mauro, Rollo, Eddi, and Elena madly striving to reach the safety of the Swiss border and the reward of delivering Eddi to adoptive parents. The manner in which the movie ends is best left to the discovery of the individual viewer: the unlikely pairing of Mauro and Rollo serves as the nidus for one of the more beautiful friendships on film.

The acting is exceptional in this film: Maurizio Mattioli creates a gay character impossible not to love while the inordinately handsome and charismatic Valerio Foglia Manzillo brings a presence to the screen that promises an exciting career! Stefano Reali finds just the right balance between the always popular gangster atmosphere films and the intensely personal views of unexpected human love stories. The pacing is breathtaking, the cinematography is magnificent, and the message is timely and universal. In Italian, French, Bulgarian, etc and with English subtitles. Recommended. Grady Harp

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