Before dying, my father told me about a village, in Piedmont, where all the people had our family name. Intrigued by this misterious origin, I crossed the Alps and went to Ughettera, “the land of the Ughettos”. Who were they? How did they live?
What forced them to leave and where did they go? By the
testimonies of the Piedmontese farmers born in the late 19° century, I recall my grandfather’s path, born in the same place at the same time, emigrated to France as thousands of other Italians did. In my laboratory I’ll bring back to life this lost world, this rural culture which was also my grandparents’ one, which has been called by Nuto Revelli “the world of the defeated”. Putting my hand into the modelling clay, discovering their work gestures, finding out how they lived and survived, I wonder about the work itself of my hands. What has been left of them, of their techniques, their know-how, their land, their language, their culture? What is still alive in me, of this lost

Manodopera celebrates hands that work, those of my
grandfather, my father and the generations of workers who
have preceded us. Those of women too, like those of my
grandmother. I remember her rapid thumb's movement that slipped potato's balls in the back of a fork and a lot of gnocchi that were piled behind ...
I want to recapture these gestures. Their flexibility, precision and beauty. I imagine a mix of live action and clay animation of my own hands and those of an elderly woman who represents my grandmother. I want to create a visual complicity with her hands and mine.
And I need to embody the subject because this documentary
draws its strength from the violence of a true story. Do not
play but being at work. Hands in malleable matter. That is
how it should be told.

Alain Ughetto
Alain Ughetto , Anne Paschetta
Alain Ughetto , Alexis Galmot, Anne Paschetta
Director of photography
Fabien Drouet, Sara Sponga
Film Editor
Denis Leborgne
Set Design
Jean-Marc Ogier
Costume Design
Anna Deschamps
Original Music
Nicola Piovani
Saverio Damiani, Nuno Carvalho, Virginie Messiaen
Altri credits

Ideazione dei personaggi: Alain Ughetto, David Roussel

Direzione di fabbricazione: Nicolas Flory

Marjolaine Parot (Capo animatrice in volume); David Roussel  (Capo modellista marionette).

Cast and characters

Ariane Ascaride, Alain Ughetto (Voci)

Production Director
Virginie Millet
Executive production
Vivement lundi!, Foliascope
Les Films du Tambour de Soie, Vivement Lundi!, Foliascope, GraffitiDoc, Nadasdy Film, Lux Fugit Film, Ocidental Filmes
Con il sostegno della Film Commission Torino Piemonte, Piemonte Doc Film Fund - sviluppo luglio 2016; Ministero della Cultura – Direzione Generale Cinema e Audiovisivo, Eurimages, Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée, Région Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Région Bretagne, Procirep, Cofinova 16, Tax Shelter du gouvernement fédéral de Belgique et des investisseurs Tax Shelter, Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Région de Bruxelles-Capitale, Office Fédéral de la Culture – Section Cinéma, Instituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual
Lucky Red
Assistente alla regia
Camille Rossi
International sales
Indie Sales
Festival - markets - events

Miglior Film d’Animazione Europeo agli EFA 2022 (10 dicembre 2022)

Premio della Giuria e Premio Fondazione Gan per la Distribuzione all’Annecy International Animation Film Festival 2022 (Francia, 13-18 giugno 2022)

Grand Prize al BIAF – Bucheon International Animation Festival 2022 (Corea del Sud, 21-25 ottobre 2022)

Premio Occhiali di Gandhi al Torino Film Festival 2022 (Italia, 25 novembre-3 dicembre 2022)

Premio del Pubblico alla Mostra de València – Cinema del Mediterrani 2022 (Spagna, 20-30 ottobre 2022)

Premio Amilcar du Public al Festival du Film Italien de Villerupt 2022 (Francia, 28 ottobre-13 novembre 2022)

Menzione Speciale a Cinanima 2022 – Festival Internacional de Cinema de Animação de Espinho (Portogallo, 7-13 novembre 2022)

Coup de coeur des lycéens a Les rendez-vous du cinéma 2022 – Dreux (Francia, 18-20 novembre 2022)

Premio Cineuropa, Premio Speciale della Giuria, Premio del Pubblico a Cinemamed 2022 – Festival Cinéma Méditerranéen de Bruxelles (Belgio, 2-10 dicembre 2022)

Miglior Film d’Animazione agli International Cinephile Society Awards 2023 (12 febbraio 2023)

Premio del Pubblico Miglior Lungometraggio a Anima 2023 – Festival International du Film d’Animation de Bruxelles (Belgio, 17-26 febbraio 2023)

Premio Produttore dell’Anno a Cartoon Movie Tributes 2023 (9 marzo 2023)

Grand Prize e Governor Award al Tokyo Anime Award Festival 2023 (Giappone, 10-13 marzo 2023)

Premier Prix al Festival du Film Italien d’Andernos-les-Bains 2023 (Francia, 14-19 marzo 2023)

Premio del Pubblico al FANT – Festival de cine fantástico de Bilbao 2023 (Spagna, 5-13 maggio 2023)


Last update: 28 June 2023