One Day in a Life

Institute History

  • 2009 Sundance Film Festival


A man, Salvatore, crosses a sand dune heading to the beach. The next instant the beauty of the sea and sky is revealed to him, as if a forecast of the possibilities that lie ahead. Salvatore cuts a striking figure in his bathing suit and becomes an instant lightning rod for others' curiosity. He exudes a bold presence, although his aloof exterior barely masks a lingering hurt from his past. The sun and sand do their part, helping separate him from the struggles of his everyday life and serving as a surreal backdrop for a peculiar menagerie of characters to enter his life.

Writer/director Stefano Tummolini tells a simple, yet beautiful, story that unfolds in a single day. He has assembled a perfect cast, playing characters drawn from every section of modern Italian society—old and young, gay and straight, rich and poor. On the beach, they find the perfect emotional equalizer for them to express themselves. Antonio Merone, as the complicated Salvatore, is excellent in his role.

As the sun lowers on the horizon, you realize Tummolini has accomplished something quite special: he has created a study of an ordinary day where an extraordinary thing happens—people are forced to slow down and become aware of the transformative pleasure of human contact.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

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