Article by: Lara Vallino
Translation by: Martina Taricco
Enrico Giusti’s job is a very useful one: he gets acquainted with incompetent business executives, he listens to them, then becomes their friend, and eventually manages to take over the company they are not able to run. His ability is to make these people believe that it was their own decision. He is the best and the only one in his field, but guilt does not leave him alone: are all managers like locusts?
This is Gianni Zanasi’s first time at Torino Film Festival after a number of succesful works, among which Nella mischia (1995), Fuori di me (1999), Non pensarci (2007), all presented at major European festivals, like Cannes and Venice. It is one of this year’s most awaited films, also thanks to its impressive cast, which includes Valerio Mastandrea and Giuseppe Battiston .
La felicità è un sistema complesso starts from the perspective that personal accomplishment, and the happiness which derives from it, once could be achieved through business, whereas nowadays it is much more difficult, for the fact that demands have changed. Thus, at the beginning of the film we see a number of executives, all unhappy with their lives as businessmen, who decide to leave for exotic destinations. Therefore, Enrico carries out his assignments and consoles himself thanks to the awareness of having saved job roles, as if he was a kind of 21th Century savior.
Nevertheless, the situation changes when he chances upon Filippo (18 years old) and his sister Camilla (13), left orphan of the Levi spouses, two important entrepreneur known worldwide. Apparently, this is an easy case because it is known that young people are more readily influenced. However, an unexpected obstacle is hidden in it: even if they have no knowledge of economic practice, they want to follow in their parents’ footsteps by giving importance not only to the profit but also to the employees.
This is how Zanasi’s new film unravels us the puzzle of the current economic crisis: rather than new demands, it is the new ruling class that represents the problem. In an unresolved finale, halfway between the mystical and the visionary, the audience sees Filippo and his friends go on their skateboards through a tunnel ending in a blinding light that stands for an undefined future, which is bright all the same. However, we will not discover if a philosophy student is able to manage a multinational corporation unless we are prepared to bet on the wrong horse.