A year at the Bollate penitentiary with a group of "sex offenders" and the psychologists of the CIPM Intensified Treatment Unit, the first experiment in Italy for the prevention of recidivism in sexual crimes. Sergio, Gianni, Giuseppe, Valentino, Carlo and Enrique, together with the others, are condemned inmates who in prison yard argot are called chomos, and whom the institutions spill back onto the streets after months or years of isolation. Claudio Casazza's film allows us to draw closer a moment to these men of different age and experience, "monsters" in the eyes of most, and it does so with sensitivity and discretion, maintaining a distance from their disturbed world, which finds visual expression in the permanent blur that envelopes them. The blur ends up being a veil that protects both them and the viewer from the rawness of their acts and the heavy social censure surrounding them, allowing for a clearer and deeper insight, into the underlying premises of their acts, the internal narrations that sustained and justified them, and the cultural alibis that allowed them. The work of the group of psychologists, mostly through verbal means, manages to accompany us, in a subtle crescendo, to the discovery of something deep that we would perhaps prefer to avoid: the monster is our similar, our son, even we ourselves, if certain mechanisms of empathy and control are bypassed. The group work that we show in the film leads us to understand how many of the stimuli daily operating around us can lead one to see the other as an object, a toy, a prey, or even an appendage, and to attribute to ourselves, even in good faith, the role of arbiters of their destiny.
"Another Me" is a documentary of observation, without interviews or outside interventions (no external musical or off screen vocal commentaries). The film was assembled by living directly in the places of the lensing, following the meetings of the workgroups, like flies on the wall -that is too say - without ever intervening - recording the conversations of the inmates during their breaks and recreational activities, being discreetly present at both their single and group encounters with the psychologists.
Visually, the film is a rigorous alternation between focus and blur, used first of all to transmit that sense of alienation that the inmates have towards themselves, and especially towards the their crimes; but the function of the blur is also that of protecting the viewer from that disturbed world and from the rawness of those acts.
The testimonies of several victims represented a dramatic detonator; it is from the contrast between the intense emotionality of these moments and the weight of daily repetition, of the effort of giving a name to the darker sentiments and compulsions, that there rises the poetic sense of a pathway of awareness that is also one of deep atonement.