This tape is a conversation between children and parents.

Luca, Francesca and Gianni, the descendants of the head of the Cosa Nostra clan, in addition to the problems of today's youth, also experience the eternal problems of their mafia family, sometimes quite unexpected and cruel.

The main character, Vlada Koza, played by Irma Vitovska, is a Ukrainian woman who goes to Italy to visit her daughter and grandson.

We spoke with 

Anastasia Lodkina

 , the author of the idea, co-author of the script.

Anastasia Lodkina

The events of the film revolve around the adventures of Ukrainian Vlada Koza, who came to Italy to help her daughter raise her grandson.

Note that Vlada comes to visit, not to earn money.

Is this a deliberate move to destroy an old stereotype?

We did not set a special task - not to make Vlada a migrant worker.

Everything was born organically from the story and the character.

The most important thing about our heroine is that she is a caring mother, she needs a family that she will take care of, raise and save.

And she could not wait for the birth of her grandson, so that there would be an excuse to live with her daughter again.

Vlada became a maid of a mafia family by accident.

Cosa Nostra

Yes, indeed, there are many Ukrainian women working at home in Italy.

Even before the Great War, there were about 250,000 legalized labor migrants, illegal ones, according to various estimates, up to 500,000.

Now, for obvious reasons, there are even more of them.

But we are not at all ashamed of this work.

First of all, Ukrainian women are really the best in the world when it comes to keeping order, and I sincerely admire this skill.

Soon everyone — artists, screenwriters, programmers — will be replaced by artificial intelligence and neural networks.

And the work of cleaners and nannies will remain!

Secondly, we wanted to show the European audience that every such Ukrainian woman, a domestic worker, is much more than the work she does.

She can be educated, experienced, wise, in some matters smarter than her employer.

"Cosa Nostra. Mother is leaving", in particular, and about this.

Tell us how such a bright international film team was formed?

How was the process of writing the script together?

Were there any arguments?

With our idea, 5 years ago we passed the selection for pitching at the Italian media market MIA, we found partners there - the company Pepito Produzioni, our co-producers were interested in the idea of ​​Rai Cinema, which was wow and mama mia!

The Italian co-producers selected for me a co-screenwriter, Matteo Visconti, young, erudite, with a wonderful Italian sense of humor.

We tried to work with him via Skype, and then it seemed that we could not find a common language for our story, it spread.

But as soon as I came to see Matteo in Rome, the matter went away.

Maybe it's the wine, the pasta and the Bernini, but in three days of work we've made incredible progress.

Then I flew to Sicily to consolidate the result even more.

And in autumn Matteo flew to Kyiv.

And maybe it was in the 9FILM.UA studio, in whose office we worked, or in the borscht where we fed Matteo,

but in another three days we had a ready episode plan.

We were already writing the dialogues when the young, talented, simultaneously gothic and comedic director Giovanni Dota also joined the project.

Next, we clearly divided the zones of influence: everything related to Ukraine and Ukrainian heroes is our expertise.

Everything related to Italy and the mafia is theirs.

Therefore, it was quite easy to work - we trusted them, they trusted us.


Of course, there were disputes, without them the creative process is simply impossible.

But usually these were disputes within the Ukrainian team and separate disputes within the Italian team.

And we did not take our battles to the international level, all disputed points with partners were resolved diplomatically.

Tell us about Vlada Koza.

What is the strength of this heroine?

What is its motivation and main mission?

First, let's not lie, Vlada Koza's strength lies in Irma Vitovska, who plays her role.

Secondly, the power of Vlada Koza is in love!

There is so much love in her that she is not able to cope with it without the objects of this same love.

At the beginning, our heroine is a young, but already lonely woman.

There is no husband, the daughter is in the amount that would satisfy Vlada herself, she interferes, because the daughter has a young husband, a child, her own life, her own rules of life.

And the cosmos saves our lonely Vlada - gives her an unhappy dysfunctional family, which just needs this love and care, which Vlada has from across the border.

Vlada Koza becomes a mother for the mafia.

Makes them better, more humane, improves the relationship between a widowed father and children.

Cosa Nostra

But Vlada goes through this entire path of saving someone else's family in order to understand and teach this wisdom to the father-widower: the moment comes when you have to stop teaching the children, let them go, give them peace.

This is also love.

And remember the phrase "First put on the oxygen mask on yourself, then on the child. Breathe freely!".

These words are very important for our film.

And very important for the life of any mother.

Especially for an anxious control freak like me.

I am sure there are many of us.

Apart from the incomparable Vlada of course, who is your favorite character in terms of the development of his life story?

Why?

Apart from Vlada, my favorite character is the eldest son of the mafia family, Luke.

First, his role is played by an actor of exceptional comedic talent, Lorenzo Scalzo.

He's funny even when he's just silent.

Admiring his performance in the film is a special pleasure for me.

And Luka's story is very close to me.

He tries to live up to all the expectations of his father, and the harder he tries, the worse he gets.

Luke didn't do anything in life by his own choice, he, like Prince Charles, was born with a mission to rule an empire one day, but the moment never came.

And it seems that it will never come... Lyukov will finally have to choose what he wants to do in life.

Our film raises this question and does not answer it.

But I would watch a spinoff about Luke.

Cosa Nostra

Releasing a comedy at such a difficult time for all Ukrainians is a rather risky step.

Why did you decide to show the film in the Motherland?

Yes, this is a complex and very courageous decision of the FILM.UA Distribution company.

It's not even a risk, it's pure extreme.

Of course, the film will not collect even close to the box office that it could in normal times.

But.

This step provides an opportunity for the survival of the film industry and film distribution.

There are not many viewers now, but they are incredible people, the best, loyal and noble.

These people are our future.

The audience for Ukrainian cinema is growing, and we fight for every viewer who goes to Ukrainian cinema and says: "It's not bad, you should go again!".

If "Cosa Nostra. Mama is Going" recruits at least 1,000, at least 100 such viewers, we will be happy.

Therefore, please support the struggle for life of our already small industry.

We also managed to communicate with 

Kateryna Vishnevska

, the producer.

Kateryna Vishnevska

Is the filming process similar in Italy and Ukraine?

What are the similarities and differences?

Globally, the process is the same, but they have more money, more people involved in the filming process, where everyone has their own area of ​​responsibility.

This was especially noticeable during the preparation of the end credits.

Italians have them endlessly.

Of course, we do not have such positions as "responsible for the director's chair".

Even in Italy, the director has a larger creative function.

The director comes and refines the script "for himself".

It was so in our case.

In Italy, the director has the last word — even the producer cannot appeal his decision, this is clearly regulated by the contract.

You know how they say in our country: a man is the head, and a woman is the neck, so we had to be the same neck in order to "push" creative decisions that are important to us.

How long did the work on the project last: from pitching at the MIA Market to the release of the film in Italy?

In general, the process lasted for a long 5 years.

For the first time, we pitched the idea of ​​"Cosa Nostra" together with Anastasia Lodkina, who later also acted as a co-author of the script.

This happened in 2017.

At that time, we were thinking of making a series, so we took our "Goat" to the MIA TV Drama Series Pitching Forum, but in the process of working on the story, we realized that it makes sense to make a full-length movie, and our partners agreed with this - and the script "Cosa Nostra" was born.

Mom is leaving."

In 2020, we shot in the Carpathians, in sunny Sicily and in the vicinity of Rome, despite strict quarantine restrictions, and in September we shot the tape in Kyiv, during a full-scale invasion.

And finally "Cosa Nostra".

"Mama is going" did make it to Ukrainian cinemas.

Do you plan to show the tape in other countries?

Share your plans for the future.

Necessarily.

By the way, the Ukrainian company and part of FILM.UA — FILM.UA Distribution — is distributing the film.

We are already actively approached by festivals and charitable organizations that want to support Ukrainian refugees in Europe.

And we want the film to be seen by as many viewers as possible, but this process is long, and we have obligations to our co-producers and the customer of the film — RAI Cinema.

Therefore, we will look for a common denominator between commercial obligations and the desire to show the film everywhere.

How did you assemble the team to produce the film?

Who and how participated in the approval of the actors (we are talking about both Italians and Ukrainians)?

Undoubtedly, the most exciting moment was the choice of an actress for the role of Vlada.

When we showed samples of Irma to our customer in Italy - RAI Cinema, we all knew - our search is over, Irma is our Government.

Cosa Nostra

As for the main Italian roles - Don Fredo and Lagan's children - we mostly relied on the preferences of our Italian partners.

To their credit, they were very considerate of us and always consulted.

By the way, it was important for all of us to select Sicilian actors for the roles (they even use Sicilian dialect in the movies).

And in our scene in the Carpathians, we involved many local actors.

I hope that we will see them more often in Ukrainian cinema and TV series.

They are amazingly artistic!

One of the press releases stated that you were recording the tape during a full-scale invasion.

This means that the Italian and Ukrainian versions of the film are different.

What exactly was changed and why?

We wanted to spoil the Ukrainian audience and reveal the character of Vlada a little more.

After all, Italians watch movies primarily for their characters (the Lagan family), and Ukrainians for the Government.

In principle, this is not a unique situation.

Local versions of co-production cinema often differ.

Therefore, yes, the Italian and Ukrainian versions are slightly different: the Ukrainian viewer will see more Vlada than the Italian one.

And for the Ukrainian distribution, we prepared a special creative dubbing with the voices of our favorite actors (Nazar Zadniprovskyi, Yurii Gorbunov, Oleg Stalchuk, Antonina Khizhnyak, Dmytro Gavrilov and others).

Read also:

Mom is leaving: Irma Vitovska is re-educating the Italian mafia