Pure Hearts

Parallel lives collide in Roberto De Paolis’ film, Pure Hearts, as two unsuspecting protagonists negotiate fear, love, and redemption against odds in a seemingly antagonistic world.

Agnese is a teenager, coming of age and pressured to take a vow of chastity from her mother who is kind but overbearingly religious. Stefano is a young man with a violent temper and a difficult past who works as a security guard in a parking lot bordering a make-shift housing camp on the periphery of Rome.

Their unexpected encounter incites feelings of curiosity and affection, exchanged in fleeting and stolen moments. As their attraction grows, Agnese is consumed by what she perceives as a betrayal of the ideals instilled in her by others. She makes a choice in urgency, out of fear and denial, but ultimately finds redemption in acceptance.


Raw, compassionate, and shot on a hand held, the film unfolds the otherwise innocent story of a young relationship in the backdrop of complex tensions of the world which surrounds them. Distinct resonance with Alice Rohrwacher’s acclaimed Corpo Celeste can be felt in its thematic as well as aesthetic approach. Mixing both actors and non-actors with a healthy dose of improvised lines, the performances are compelling, particularly those of the principal characters who have been said to have helped shape the film’s final scenes. Pure Hearts will secure De Paolis’ position in the slow but sure rise of the new independent cinema, in Italy, and beyond.

Director Roberto De Paolis studied at the London International Film School. He worked as a photographer showing his works all over Europe. He directed two short films, both presented at the Venice Film Festival. Bassa Marea in 2010 and Alice in 2011. He works as a video-artist for Nowness. Pure Hearts is his first feature film. [The Match Factory]

Winner The Lavazza Italian Film Festival’s Bulgari Critics’ Choice Award; Nominated Golden Camera, Cannes Film Festival; Nominated Best New Director, Roberto De Paolis, Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists; Winner One Future Prize, Roberto De Paolis, Munich Film Festival; Winner Best Actress, Selene Caramazza, Seville European Film Festival.

Pure Hearts / Directed by Roberto De Paolis
114 minutes, Italian

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