You might remember Antonio from his groundbreaking Netflix series Zero, which was Italy’s first TV series centred around the lives of Black Italian youth. His new film with Amazon Prime Autumn Beat, as featured in New Wave Magazine, builds on that drive to showcase black culture in Italy.
The coming-of-age drama is Italy’s first film with an all Black leading cast (alongside its Black director) and it looks to portray the lives of second generation Black Italians in an aspirational manner, highlighting black culture, black music and black love.
“I see Autumn Beat, as a breakout project. A story about a cross-section of second-generation youths that, far from elitist dramas of Italian cinema, seeks to find a new path where vitality, emotion and music converge to create a once-in a lifetime cinematic experience” – Antonio Dikele
Tito and Paco are 20 years old and share a dream: they want to break into the world of rap. Paco is a born performer and Tito writes like no one else in his generation. They seem destined for success. However, despite their efforts to stick together, ambition, betrayal, and their love for the same woman threaten to split them apart forever.
The film is built around a non-linear narrative structure divided into three parts, drawing inspiration from films like Moonlight by Barry Jenkins.
Three acts, written as self-contained chapters, that tell the stories of two brothers, each marked in their own way by painful and touching epilogues. The acts take place a decade apart – in 2010, 1999 and 2020 – and are set, as the title suggests, in the fall, or better, the different falls that have transformed the existence of the two protagonists, exploring them in their roles as “brothers”, “sons” and finally, “fathers”.
In the first chapter we get to know the two brothers in their 20s. Paco is already famous as a rapper, but his gigs don’t pay much and he’s forced to work as a waiter to pay rent for him and his brother. Tito attends university and writes the songs for Paco. He has a sharp pen, but because of a neurological issue due to a trauma that we will later know about in the second act, his voice can’t catch the beat. when their chance finally comes in the form of a single with a major record label, problems ensue and the brothers paths will diverge.
In the second chapter we see the two brothers ten years earlier when they were in their teens living in a basement with Paco’s mother Grace. This is when they discover their mutual passion for rap and their own talent for it. In this chapter we’ll find out that Paco and Tito are not really brothers and that it was the car accident while Paco was driving, to damage Tito’s vocal ability forever.
In the third chapter, we see Tito as an adult, grieving for death of his brother with whom he hadn’t spoken in years. Although reluctantly, he will now have to take care of Aisha, Paco and Ife’s daughter. What he hadn’t expected is that the little girl would be able to understand and forgive Paco’s mistakes, and that he would finally have what he’s always wanted: a family.
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