The Italian Almanac

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Raoul Bova

Italian Movies - July 10

Italian actor Raoul Bova, out to show he's made of sterner stuff than his hunky movie-star image may suggest, is co-producing an independent film about the conflict between different cultures. Io, L'Altro (I, The Other), which will be released in the autumn, explores the impact of terrorism on the friendship between a Sicilian and a Tunisian fisherman.

"Lots of actors in America take parts in box-office films in order to produce the feature films they really believe in, and I think this example should be followed in Italy" said Bova, who recently returned from a stint in the US working on the ABC sitcom What About Brian? Bova, who is also one of the film's co-stars, stressed his involvement in Io, L'Altro had been purely idealistic. "I earned nothing from the film, I just invested in it. Personally, I am only interested in projects that have important content; scripts that would otherwise never be considered. I don't like films that have nothing at their core . Working on Io, L'Altro has fulfilled one of my long-time dreams".

The movie tells the tale of Giuseppe, played by Bova, and Yousef (Martorana), who have been friends ever since the latter arrived in Sicily ten years previously. It opens with the pair going into business together, buying a fishing boat, and looks at their struggle to survive in tough financial circumstances. The film charts the deterioration in the friendship, set against the tense backdrop of international terrorism.

For Bova, Io, L'Altro is part of an ongoing effort to break typecasting based on his classic Latin good looks and receive more serious attention. Although the 35-year-old won public and critical acclaim for his performance in Ferzan Ozpetek's 2003 romantic drama, Facing Windows, he is still widely considered a sexy TV star rather than a great actor.