We are looking for the truth in television


The sixth edition of Two Riversides will begin with a race for fame – at the opening gala we will see Matteo Garrone’s “Reality”, winner of this year’s Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival.

In the times of television’s unabated power it is hard to believe that so few directors decide to analyse its influence on society. “Reality” seems to be the first valuable voice in the discussion on the phenomenon of television since the times of “Truman Show.” The social satire created by Garrone is based on observing the life of Luciano, a Neapolitan fishmonger. The man, bored with his life, is persuaded by his relatives to take part in a reality show program. Reluctant at first, he slowly begins to see the chance to become rich and famous. This dream, however, soon turns against him and drives him to madness.

A tragicomical story of the protagonist is an encouragement to think about the difference between reality and the world created by television. This seemingly cliché topic, which may cause concerns among some, is outbalanced by an inventive script and the director’s extraordinary care for form.


Matteo Garrone uses fiction to demonstrate to us the actual processes and the dependencies that rule society. Even though his film tells a fictitious story, it is hard not get the impression that it is more real than what we see in reality shows. It is therefore worth checking what that eponymous “reality” looks like.

“Reality” (the Polish premiere of the film), screening during the festival’s opening gala today at 4:30 PM.

Dawid Rydzek