Where Life Begins


The Main 4 Sun, Apr 16, 2023 11:10 AM
The Main 4 Wed, Apr 19, 2023 1:40 PM
The Main 4 Sun, Apr 23, 2023 7:25 PM
Film Info
Original Title:Alla vita
Festival Programs:World Cinema
Release Year:2022
Runtime:100 min
Print Source:Menemsha Films
Jewish Interest
Family Drama
Culture & Society
First Feature
Director:Stéphane Freiss
Producer:Fabio Conversi
Marco Cohen
Benedetto Habib
Fabrizio Donvito
Daniel Campos Pavoncelli
Cinematographer:Michele Paradisi
Screenwriter:Stephane Freiss
Audrey Gordon
Caroline Deruas
Laure Deschenes
Editor:Aline Hervé
Composer:Giovanni Mirabassi
Principal Cast:Riccardo Scamarcio
Lou de Laâge


In this beautifully crafted, achingly romantic, feature debut from veteran actor Stéphane Freiss, the where is a lush farm in Calabria, Italy. It’s a place where the owner, frustrated artist Elio (Riccardo Scamarcio, John Wick: Chapter 2) maintains the traditions of his father, cultivating special citrons in a kosher way so that they can be harvested by a group of ultra-Orthodox Jews from Aix-les- Bains, France for their Sukkot celebrations. At this year’s harvest, Elio’s life will be forever changed by his meeting with Esther (Lou de Laâge, The Innocents), the rabbi’s restless daughter, who is fighting a lonely battle against the constraints imposed by her religion. As they grow to know each other better, the two recognize that they are kindred souls, both bound by tradition and family, while longing for self-realization. “A powerful and sympathetic examination of the challenges and restrictions faced by the two main characters, with a wholly unexpected ending.”-- Dina Gold, Moment Magazine –Alissa Simon

Director Biography

Born in 1960 in Paris, Stéphane Freiss is one of France’s most acclaimed actors, who has appeared in international and Oscar-nominated films for the last four decades. In 2011 he directed his first short film, “It Is Miracul'house”. Where Life Begins (Tu choisiras la vie) (2022) is his debut feature as a director.