Programmed by Daniela Persico
Domenico is 18 years old and is a shepherd. He lives with his father, mother, and brother on a farm in the mountains of Sicily. The family works their farm in traditional fashion. Time flows with the rhythm of nature and the animals. Domenico spends the days with his flock dreaming a secret ambition: to get a driving license. He registers at a driving school but the distance to the village and his work schedule make realizing his dream more difficult than he thought.
Filmed with great visual elegance, “A Driver’s License” is the portrait of an “old-fashioned young man”, a boy of eighteen far from modernity, who lives in very close contact with nature whose secrets he seems to possess. While the protagonist’s desire for autonomy drives the narrative of this successful short graduation film (screened at numerous festivals including Visions du Réel), its greatest merit lies in the perfect balance the director keeps between a story about independence and fascination with a long-lost lifestyle. Is learning to read really that much more complex than learning to live in direct contact with nature? The steps Domenico takes to pass his driving test and, thanks to that, become part of society, are perhaps not true desires, which are different for everyone and far harder to define.
Programmer and critic