In Production All | Current Affairs | Society ITALY: LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT

Category All , Current Affairs , Society
Year: 2011
Country: Germany / Italy
Running Time: 52' | 75'
Production: Gustav Hofer & Luca Ragazzi Film
Director: Gustav Hofer & Luca Ragazzi
Official Website:

Luca and Gustav have to decide: should they stay in Italy, or leave it, like so many of their friends have done already. Looking for reasons not to do the same, the two Italians jump into their old Fiat 500 and go on a emotional trip through their country to find out: Italy, love it, or leave it?

More on Film


Luca and Gustav are two young Italians who over the past few years have witnessed the exodus of many of their friends to Berlin, London or Barcelona. Creative, talented people who don't see a future in their country. They're fed up with the high cost of living, the lack of job security, the feudal university system, the generally reactionary attitudes and indifference to human rights, the clear sense that you don't get anywhere just on merit. Tired of a country that appears to be mired in quicksand.

Gustav believes the time has come for them to go abroad too while Luca wants to convince him that there are many good reasons to stay, that Italy is full of passionate and committed people who every day carry on a silent battle to change things for the better. They agree to give themselves 6 months to see if they can fall in love with their country again. They will go on a journey across their boot-shaped land in an old Fiat 500, in search of emblematic stories, anecdotes, people. A road trip to try and understand what's left of their country, to unravel why it appears to still have the power to make people abroad dream, to make sense of its celebrated past and uncertain future. They'll discover a country much divided, run through with contradictions, but on the edge of significant change.

After their acclaimed documentary Suddenly Last Winter (winner of the Italian Critics Award in 2009 and of a Special Jury Mention at the Berlinale in 2008, and featured in 200 festivals worldwide) Luca and Gustav are back to take stock of today’s Italy, with their signature irony and sarcasm.



After the unexpected success of our first documentary Suddenly Last Winter (Special Jury Mention Berlinale 2008, Nastro d'Argento 2009 and featured in more that 200 festivals worldwide) we knew that if we were ever to make another film together it would have to be about something that touched us personally and that we felt was urgent.

At the end of 2009, when we wrote a treatment to take part in the Documentary Campus Master School (a European program for the development of documentaries which selects 15 projects a year from anywhere around the world and provides training and guidance towards making the projects a reality) our starting point was what was happening in our lives at that moment: we were moving out of our flat in Rome and thinking seriously about going abroad as so many of our friends have in recent years.

The reasons to leave Italy, especially for people of our generation, are many, and this isn't the place to go into them. But it's also true that we have a tendency in Italy to complain bitterly about our country without ever rolling up our sleeves and trying to do something about changing it. When we took our first film to festivals around the country, and were hosted by art house cinemas and cultural associations, libraries and civic organizations, we became aware of what appeared to be a hidden or unknown Italy, that doesn't emerge on television or in newspapers.

It seems to us that this is the best Italy, made up of people who fight daily to make this country a better place, despite the political class that misgoverns it. We wanted to render it justice by giving at least a part of it the chance to express itself with its own voice.

More about Director

Gustav Hofer & Luca Ragazzi

Gustav Hofer and Luca RagazziWriters / Directors

Gustav Hofer, born in 1976 in Sarnthein (South Tyrol, Italy). After his studies in Communication Science at the University of Vienna and Cinema at the Middlesex University in London, he moved to Rome. He works as a freelance journalist and independent filmmaker. For the French-German television "Arte" he presents the program "Artejournal" and for the same program he works as correspondent from Italy.

Filmography: Suddenly, Last Winter (2008 – over 200 festivals and 20 awards) - Men for all Seasons, 2005 (50’) Korea Prioritaria, 2002, (45’)

Luca Ragazzi, born in 1971 in Rome, graduated in Literature and Philosophy at the University La Sapienza of Rome. Journalist, film critic and photographer. Suddenly, Last Winter is his first film as a director.

Festivals & Awards

Italy: Love It or Leave It has been selected at over 80 film festivals world wide!

2012 Brussels European Film Festival, Belgium
Won Audience Award

2012 Doxa Festival, Canada

2012 Seattle International Film Festival, USA

2012 Hot Docs Festival, Canada

2012 Honolulu Film Festival, USA
Won Best Documentary Award

2012 Festival Cinéma Italien, France
Special Mention

2012 Full Frame International Documentary Festival, USA

2012 Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, Greece
Won Audience Award

2012 SXSW, USA

2011 Helsinki Docpoint, Finland

2011 Annecy Film Festival, France
Won Youth Jury Award

2011 Rio Film Festival, Brazil

2011 Göteborg Film Festival, Sweden

2011 Milano Film Festival, Italy
Won Audience Award

Press & Reviews

"...effervescent..." "Could make it palatable to a wider-than-arthouse audience..."
John Anderson, VARIETY

"The most charming, sparkling and playful documentary of the festival..."

"... full of visual inventions ****"
Guiseppe Ferrante, LA REPUBBLICA

Alberto Crespi, L’UNITA

"...a convincing manifesto of resistance"

"...a breath-taking, stunning and poetic roadmovie experience..."
Fiona Ehlers, DER SPIEGEL

"With a light touch. Known almost exclusively by their first names back home, Hofer and Ragazzi have become, with their high-profile films, in some ways Italy's first official gay couple."

"I can't help but root for Hofer and Ragazzi to stay in Rome. Italy Love It or Leave It shows them to be talented, convincing storytellers."