The first documentary in the history of Venice Film Festival to have won the Golden Lion Award.
GRA stands for Grande Raccordo Anulare, a 68 kilometre-long ring-road that encircles Rome. Rosi spent over two years in filming life along the highway, varied and surprising stories of everyday existence. A nobleman from Piemonte and his daughter share a bedsit along the GRA. They pass the time with conversations that swing from the sophisticated to the banal. A botanist searches for a way to stop the plague of rapacious insects destroying the palm plantation hedging the road. A modern-day prince transformed his castle into a B&B. A paramedic patrols the GRA, resuscitating various accident victims. A fisherman tends his nets exactly as his forefathers did. GRA is a repository of stories of people on the edge of the Eternal City.
»The GRA, this river of traffic in perpetual motion and the people who inhabit it, forms a reality that demands to be seen and considered. Its contradictions are stunning: a Franciscan friar standing in the emergency lane taking photographs of the sky; herds of sheep grazing just meters from cars rocketing by at 120 kilometres per hour… Worlds in motion that intersect while completely unaware of each other.«
- Gianfranco Rosi
Born in Asmara, Eritrea, and now a citizen of Italy and the United States, Rosi moved to New York in 1985 after finishing university in Italy. He also graduated from New York University Film School, where he is on the faculty as a visiting professor. His documentary films won awards at numerous international film festivals, including Sundance, Locarno and Toronto. Before receiving the Golden Lion, he also won the Venice FF’s Orizzonti Award and FIPRESCI Prize.