Dinamo Film Production, Goldenart Production with Rai Cinema in association with Notorious Pictures
With the contribution of
the Apulia Film Fund, the Apulia Film Commission and the Puglia Region using the resources of POR Puglia FESR-FSE 2014/2020. Furthermore, the film was developed with the contribution of the Apulia Film Commission through the Apulia Development Film Fund and the Apulia Film Forum for the production stage.
The First Rule (La Prima Regola) is based on Vincenzo Manna’s theatrical piece The Class (La Classe). The film provides a snapshot of the times we are living in: a suburban high school, its facilities, students and teaching staff are the mirror image of a seemingly irreversible social and economic decline. To make matters even more complicated, just a few metres from the school, among the houses in the neighbourhood, is a migrant welfare centre (nicknamed the “Zoo”) that has become a permanent refugee camp over the years. A teacher is called in to teach a remedial course for six students who have been suspended for disciplinary reasons. They meet every afternoon, when it is already dark outside, inside a suburban classroom where, after initial hostility and mistrust, the teacher manages to gain the trust of the students and achieve surprising results. But when clashes break out between the locals and the migrants, the situation quickly gets out of hand. The military, journalists and protesters invade the city as tensions grow. All the contradictions of a society left to its own devices come to the surface. In this bleak picture, the conflicts simmering in the school and in the hearts of the students explode as tragic effect. The First Rule is a sort of school chamber play or kammerspiel, almost entirely set within the walls of a school in the heart of Bari, a “no man’s land” that could well be in any other town in the world where steady migratory flows often aggravate already existing local economic and social crises. A social drama that reflects on the role of children, the importance of history and integration.