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film > The Stuff of Dreams (La stoffa dei sogni)

8 Teresa Saponangelo e Nicola Di Pinto

The Stuff of Dreams (La stoffa dei sogni) is the second film in the series Sardina in the Movies, presented by the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco. In his film, director Gianfranco Cabiddu creates an intriguing fabric where theater and poetry are interwoven with reality, and transports the audience in a magic, out-of-the-world space. Amidst a stunning, pristine landscape evocative of Mediterranean colors and scents, a simple stage offers the comedians the chance to transcend their personal, wretched lives and touch a deeper dimension of their characters. Based on Eduardo De Filippo’s The Art of Comedy and his translation of The Tempest, Cabiddu’s work invites reflections on the purpose of art in human life and on the universal themes of guilt, revenge, redemption, and forgiveness.

The Stuff of Dreams (La stoffa dei sogni)
Italy, 2016, 103 min
In Italian and Neapolitan with English subtitles 

Free Admission | Registration required


A fateful shipwreck casts a group of convicted Camorra criminals and a handful of itinerant actors on a prison-island, where the embittered warden De Caro (Ennio Fantastichini) lives with his young daughter Miranda (Alba Gaia Bellugi). When the gangsters infiltrate the theatrical troupe, De Caro commands Campese (Sergio Rubini), the head of the company, to stage a performance of Shakespeare’s The Tempest in order to distinguish the real actors from the criminals.

Director, scriptwriter and musician, Gianfranco Cabiddu (Cagliari, 1953) worked in the theater with such greats as Eduardo De Filippo and Carmelo Bene, and began his career in cinema as a sound specialist. He debuted as a director in 1997 with Il figlio di Bakunin, followed the year after by Disamistade. His filmography is considered part of a literary and artistic “nouvelle vague” that includes elements of Sardinia’s grassroots indigenous film culture. Among his documentaries, notable are Passaggi di tempo and Faber in Sardegna. The Stuff of Dreams was awarded the 2017 David di Donatello for Best Screenplay and the 2017 Globo d’oro as Best Feature.


  • Organized by: Italian Cultural Institute San Francisco