It has often been said that life is a form of literature. Moreover, some claim the supremacy of fiction over existence. From this point of view, ‘Seedling‘ is a short film about the invisible force of the storytelling that, beyond its palliative role, has the ability to overcome even the whims of death. The fictional universe created by director Marco Bitonti glides unexpectedly from the perimeter of an abyssal intimate drama to the conventions of magical realism, to depict the tragedy of a young couple literally finding a miraculous salvation in the power of believing in the impossible. Although the premises of this project seem to anticipate a painful exploration of an incipient madness, starting from a more or less naive game, seen as a form of emotional rehabilitation, the narrative thread reaches an impressive dimension through the fictional escapism that shapes the consistency of reality around the protagonists. As a consequence, the boundaries between the seen and the unseen world fade to total extinction, and invisible spirits can enter the narrow universe of people governed by the laws of brutal realism.


Unable to get over his unborn son’s death, Castor experiences a kind of epiphany, and is convinced that his son’s spirit is still with him. His wife, however, must choose between accepting Castor’s convention or resigning herself in face of a ruthless fate.


This short film impresses with a strong emotional load, juggling with the viewers’ expectations while the characters find a refuge and a miraculous rehabilitation through faith in something that transcends the material world. The characters of Marco Bitoni have the consistency of atypical fairy-tale protagonists who, like the unfortunate childless kings and queens, manage to face their destiny, while keeping their humanism intact which anchors them into our immediate reality. This paradox that places the protagonists both at the edge of a magical universe and within the parameters of a painstaking authentic realism, augment the attention of the spectators who will be delighted not only by a special narrative, but also by a special, vividly colourful cinematic construction. ‘Seedling’ is not just a story about the power of stories; it is also a painful life lesson about the beauty of life itself. Neverland is closer than we think.


For the suggestive force with which the fictional world interweaves with reality, exceeding the parameters of a conventional brutal realism, and for its impeccable score and cinematography, ‘Seedling’ was awarded with the 2nd Film of the Month distinction in the March 2020 edition of TMFF.