Three times Tonino is a creative documentary about one of Europes most significant screenwriters, Tonino Guerra, who wrote scripts to more than 120 movies, by Fellini, Antonioni, Tarkovskij and Angelopoulos. Tonino Guerra was also a poet, a painter, a sculpturer – an artist.

 

Three times Tonino is a documentary about Tonino, with Tonino and in collaboration with Tonino. The director Andreas Kassel and Tonino Guerra met 10 years ago and it developed into a friendship and a dialogue about art, poetry and life. Andreas started filming Tonino 6 years ago and in the movie we meet Tonino during three different periods in his life and under three different themes and the film is therefore structured in three parts.

 

In the first part, we meet Tonino at the age of 86, still very vibrant, showing his epical skill by telling an episode from life. He recalls his meeting, as a young man, with the great artist Giorgio Morandi. Telling a story directly to the audience as a tribute to the art of storytelling which emanates from an oral tradition.

 

In the second part, we meet Tonino some years later, in a conversation about the co-operation with the great directors. Through archival material we get a glimpse of his major work as a screenwriter and how he collaborated with the directors.

 

In the third part, we meet Tonino in present time, older and no longer able to travel. Instead he travels inside, within his own home through his stories, some memories from the past – others reflections of what might come in the passage to afterlife. He has returned to his childhood places and uses humble words to describe what it is to be human. With the poetry that is always present in Tonino, small talk has been stripped away and only the essential and existential questions remain.

 

All three movies are displayed with death as a setting. In the beginning as a story, and later it grows closer. Finally it is just a thin membrane - like a water mirror that reflects the observer.


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