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Dreams Live in Trees

Nominated for

Best Feature Film

Directed by

Marco Della Fonte

112' • United Kingdom • 2021


Italian, Russian

Inspired by true events which took place in 1978 when Italy became the first country in the world to abolish mental asylums. Upon a closure of a “lunatic asylum” in Florence Anja returns home into the care of her brother Ettore and his wife Lisa. For her family Anja is a difficult woman with mental health problems, who spent most of her life coming in and out of mental institutions. With the help and a great sensitivity from her newly appointed psychiatrist Anja slowly starts to adapt to her new life beyond the asylum. She meets Libero, a local man who delivers vegetables to people in the village. Libero, just like Anja, suffers from mental disorder and learning disabilities. He lives with his mother and is known in the local community as “a crazy murderer”. Years earlier he accidentally killed his father trying to defend his mother. He was arrested and sent to a criminal asylum where he spent a prolonged period of time in isolation. Anja and Libero fall in love. They conduct their relationship under the protection of a secret shack in the middle of the forrest surrounded by coloured trees, which become the symbol of their love. They face prejudice from Anja’s family and a small town, where they both live. When Anja gets pregnant her family does everything to separate her from Libero and prevent the birth of an "unacceptable" family. An unexpected event brings morality into question. Will Anja and Libero be allowed to keep their baby despite their mental health?

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