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The Zola Experience

January 9, 2023


The Zola Experience



Based on a novel by Émile Zola: real lives just out of a book.


Anne, a theater director, adapts “L’Assommoir” by Emile Zola in which she plays the role of Gervaise. The characters’ stories echo her own life: her devastating divorce, her passionate romance with her new neighbor, the difficulties of running a small business in an extremely competitive and patriarchal industry, the plight of the injured worker after an accident at work, alcoholism, domestic violence, and the decline of a relationship.
With a cinéma du réel approach, the camera plunges into the daily lives of these artists possessed by a fire that burns in them and burns them, exploring their creative process, as close as possible to the characters.
Through a mise en abyme, the film challenges that hazy boundary where fiction merges with reality, where life fuses with art.
A documentary approach that questions intimacy, drama, passion, work and love, and at the same time seeks to shed light on the more vibrant, timeless and universal aspects of life.

Director’s Profile

Writer/director of documentary and fiction films.
Gianluca Matarrese (1980) moved to Paris in 2002 to study cinema and theatre. He graduated in History and Criticism of North American Cinema at the University of Torino and Paris VIII, also graduating at the Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris. From 2008 to 2012 he worked as writer and director in French television, creating a sit-comedy for OCS networks. There he continued as writer, reporter, artistic and segment producer for over 20 entertainment programs.
In 2019 he won the award for best Italian documentary at the Torino Film Festival with the film “Fuori Tutto” (“Everything Must Go”). His next five films circulate simultaneously in numerous international festivals and worldwide broadcasters: “La dernière séance” (“The Last Chapter”) closing at Venice Films Critics Weeks’ in 2021, winning the Queer Lion Award; “Il Posto” (“A Steady Job”) co-directed with Mattia Colombo, at Vision du Réel, Hot Docs, DMZ, Festival dei Popoli, Hainan Film Festival; “Fashion Babylon” at CPH:DOX, Hot Docs, Reykjavík, Sidney, Frameline. The short film “Pinned Into a Dress”, opens the Venice Films Critics Weeks’ in 2022. The new film “Les beaux parleurs” will be released in February 2023.

Company Profile

Film in lavorazione
HO VISTO UN RE di Giorgia Farina


ORIONE di Silvia Luzi, Luca Bellino

Film pronti
LAST WORDS di Jonathan Nossiter

Film 2022
LE FAVOLOSE di Roberta Torre

LEONORA ADDIO di Paolo Taviani

Documentari 2022
IN VIAGGIO di Gianfranco Rosi

Film 2020
IL GRANDE PASSO di Antonio Padovan

NOUR di Maurizio Zaccaro

Documentari 2020
NOTTURNO di Gianfranco Rosi

Documentari 2019
FAITH di Valentina Pedicini

Documentari 2018
CORLEONE di Mosco Boucault

Film 2017

Documentari 2017
MORAVIA OFF di Luca Lancise

Film 2016
VANGELO di Pippo Delbono

Documentari 2016
FUOCOAMMARE di Gianfranco Rosi

Film 2015
MARAVIGLIOSO BOCCACCIO di Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani