The saying goes that young people are our future, but in Futura, a trio of filmmakers travel around Italy to ask what it looks like to those on the verge of carving their own path through life. From aspiring beauticians to athletes, academics and activists, this documentary captures a broad range of voices from the Italian youth, and what they say seems to be unanimous: many of those interviewed believe that there is no future for them in Italy. This belief that they have to abandon their homeland to find greener pastures sparks conversations about the economy, tourism, politics and discrimination; but with so many wanting nothing than more to leave, the documentary never asks how Italy will look without its youth.
The bulk of this feature consists of open discussions with groups of youngsters about various issues connected to their future. Whether that be their definitions of success, concerns over living in an increasingly online world or existing during a pandemic, the interviewees demonstrate an abundance of insight and intelligence about the world around them. However, aside from a sparse handful of archive footage and B-roll, there’s not much else going on here, and at a runtime of two hours, the documentary becomes very one-note very fast. The film is essentially an over-long episode of Seven Up! in which people across an entire country are asked about their ambitions. Within the first half-hour or so, viewers will have seen pretty much everything it has to offer, the rest is mostly repetition of the established formula.
Futura is an ambitious project that sets its sights on capturing the voice of an entire country’s young generation. While it accomplishes this goal with astounding success, the filmmakers are unable to bring anything else of note to the debate. It’s impossible to know what the future may bring, but if what the youth of Futura believe is true, the world could be a vastly different place in the next few decades.
Futura is released in selected cinemas on 8th July 2022.
Watch the trailer for Futura here: