On January 27th, 1945, Primo Levi, author of the world-famous If This Is a Man, was liberated from the Auschwitz concentration camp. It took him ten months, dozens of detours, many delays and thousands of miles to get back to his home in Torino. In the course of his trip he crossed Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Rumania, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Germany and finally arrived in Italy. He told the story of his adventures, meetings and observations in another very famous book, La Tregua (“The Truce”).
Sixty years later, director Davide Ferrario and writer Marco Belpoliti follow the same itinerary through contemporary, post-communist Europe. It’s a stunning and moving trip through history and geography. The film reconstructs Levi’s adventure but also portrays the condition of modern Europeans, visiting the remnants of Soviet Empire, Chernobyl, neo-nazi rallies, villages of poor migrants.
Primo Levi’s Journey is a road movie - without actors but with a quest in mind. We, like Primo Levi, are living today at the end of a truce… For Levi it was the truce between the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War; for us it’s the one between the fall of the Berlin wall and September 11, 2001.