a film by Serena Nono

produced by Giano with Rai cinema

supported by Veneto film Commission

in collaboration with Casa dell'Ospitalità di Venezia


Presented at Giornate degli autori Venice Days 2013

The book VENEZIA SALVA is published by CASTELVECCHI Editore with the DVD of the movie, english and french subtitles. 




Venice Saved, freely adapted from the tragedy by Simone Weil, narrates the attempt to overthrow the Republic of Venice in 1618.A conspiracy hatched by the Spanish Ambassador to Venice and the Viceroy of Naples, the Duke of Osuna, is to take place on the night preceding the Feast of the Ascension, a Venetian religious and secular feast. The ambassador puts the Provencal gentleman Renaud in charge. He is to develop the strategy, while Pierre, who is a renowned pirate and captain of fortune, is to lead the sacking of Venice. Both men also serve the Serenissima Republic. In this enterprise they are to command a group of adventurers, mercenaries, foreign officers and exiles--united  by hatred for the independent Republic and by hopes of being rewarded with riches and power by the Spanish King. Pierre is suddenly summoned by the government of Venice to mount guard for a guest of the authorities; therefore he passes the command of the enterprise to Jaffier, his long-time faithful friend and comrade in battles and sackings. Jaffier accepts. But after having met Violetta, the Secretary of the Ten’s daughter, and hearing her praise of, and himself beholding, the beauty of Venice, he begins to question his desire and ability to lead such destruction. Out of compassion for Venice he reveals the plot to the Secretary of the Ten and in return he seeks protection for the lives of his twenty comrades. The Ten give Jaffier this promise, but in the end they betray their promise and execute all of the conspirators including Jaffier, who was to have been exiled.The Ambassador is removed from office and sent back to Spain.



David Riondino: Secretary of the Ten

Nicola Golea: Jaffier   

Roxana Kenjeeva: Violetta  

Domenico Palazzo: Renaud  

Matteo Parrinello: Pierre Lagrand   

Vincenza Petrella: Greek courtesan 

Katharina Miroslawa: Courtesan

Emilio Vinci: Seargent Brulard  

Ulisse Fiolo: Captain  Durand   

Fabio Rosso: Seargent Navas  

Maurizio Banin: Bassio  

Barry Alpha: Mercenary  

Steve Lee Parker: Seargent Elliot   

Wahdan Elsaid: Mercenary  

Bouchaib El Asri: Mercenary

Alberto Bucco: Prologue

Sasha Kenjeeva: Girl at the harpsichord

Giovanni Benzoni: Marquis of Bedmar

Caroline Murat: Dutchess of Osuna

Francesca Breschi: Singer

Massimo Donà: Ducal messenger

Alessandro De Marco, Fabio Momo, Luca Sossella: Three of the Ten

Bruno Ballardini: Great Chancellor

Giovanni Trabucco: Theologian

Michele Vinci, Denis Toso: Venetians

Shamal Rosso, Renzo Busetto, Simone Bianchi: Artisans



Director:  Serena Nono

First Assistant Director:  Manuela Pellarin

Screenplay:  Serena Nono, freely adapted

from Venice Saved by Simone Weil 

DOP: Tarek Ben Abdallah a.i.c

First Assistant Camera:  Michele Nassuato

Second Assistant Camera:  Nicolas De Luigi

Second Assistant director:  Luca Stocchi

Digital Imaging Technician:  Marta Fiorin

Production Sound Mixer:  Francesco Liotard

Boom Operator:  Francesco Liotard

Sound Technician:  Filippo Nardocci

Film Editor:  Manuela Pellarin

Assistant Editor:  Marta Fiorin

Colorist: Vincenzo Marinese

Set Designer:  Serena Boccanegra

Music:  Ernst Stolz

Costume Designers:  Serena Nono e Manuela Pellarin

Costume Supervisor:  Carlos Tieppo  

Hairdresser and Make-up:  Elena Freak Cipolato

Backstage Photography: Arianna Tae Cimarosti, Alessandro Rizzardini

Production Assistant:  Olivia Molnar

Production Coordinator:  Giovanni Benzoni

Executive producer:  Raffaele Rago

Additional shooting by

Serena Nono, Manuela Pellarin, Raffaele Rago

Director's notes

Director's notes - VENEZIA SALVA

The film Venice Saved is freely adapted from Simone Weil's play of the same name. This is my third collaboration with residents of the Casa dell’Ospitalità di Venezia e Mestre, a center that houses homeless people in Venice and Mestre. The production was filmed in many historically important Venetian locations, including the Ducal Palace and the Arsenale; in the strikingly beautiful campo S. Zaccaria and the campo S.Francesco della Vigna as well as in the S.Francesco della Vigna cloisters, plus in fascinating palaces such as the Benzon Palace on the Grand Canal. I have preserved the historical and sociopolitical values of the play. It was very important for me to focus on the form of this film concentrating on fixedness and directing the non-actors to present the essence of Weil's ideas through essential recitation, and with her stage directions. The philosopher Simone Weil conceived this play as a greek tragedy. That is the reason I chose a classical form, and the depiction of immobility in a play where there is little action. Therefore the structure of the film is in 3 acts with a prologue and stasimons between the acts.  Movement is all internal, not in physical actions. The idea of non-action that acts is central in  Venice Saved. The main character converts (moves) to the idea of non-violence (non-action). The challenge is to present Venice Saved with non-actors, including people who speak other languages, thus creating a cacophony of accents. People who live on the edge of society, who are exiles, and who can easily relate to Simone Weil’s idea: truth is in pain, in misfortune; truth is in beauty.The film attempts to offer a pictorial vision of Venice, it must slowly reveal that beauty for which the main character will betray his comrades and lose his life.