Amazon’s Italian Original ‘Prisma’ Challenges Teen Gender Norms
Amazon Prime Video’s Italian original series “Prisma,” which will launch on August 10 from the Locarno Film Festival, sees the streamer revisit the theme of gender identity fluidity after “Transparent” while also addressing a young adult audience and also connecting with Italy’s neorealist roots.
The eight-episode show (watch the exclusive clip) – which marks the first TV series to premiere at the famous Swiss festival dedicated to independent cinema – centers on identical teenage twins Marco and Andrea, who defy gender norms in different ways, as well as their group of friends who also go through a similar journey.
“Prisma” is set in the town of Latina, just south of Rome, and its surroundings, which were once a swamp until the land was drained under the Fascist regime. The area is now known for its modernist architecture and fertile agriculture.
“Prisma,” which means prism in Italian, is the brainchild of Ludovico Bessegato, who rose to local prominence as the showrunner of “Skam Italia,” the Italian adaptation of the Nordic young adult drama that caused a stir in Italy. and plays on Netflix.
Bessegato, who directed “Prisma”, wrote the scripts with Alice Urciuolo, a writer from the Latina region.
It’s produced by Beta-owned Cross Productions, the shingle behind “Skam Italia.”
“Five years ago, by pure chance, I had the opportunity to tell stories about people younger than me, mentored by a Norwegian showrunner [and Skam creator] Julie Andem,” Bessegato said in her manager’s statement.
Now “After five years of this journey, I felt the need to take everything I learned and try to do something that is completely ours,” he added.
“Something that started from our observation of reality; of our context. Something that showed that we weren’t just good adapters, but were able to offer our own perspective on this world. A new story, which brings together years of study and observation of this world with our personal idea of cinema and our aesthetics.
“We started with the following fact,” noted Bessegato.
“All these years of meeting people younger than us had clearly shown us how many dualisms which until my generation had been unshakable dogmas were no longer so for them.”
“And we’re not just talking about sexual orientation and gender identity. We are talking about a generation that seems to live and choose intermediate spaces in the broadest possible sense.
“A generation and a world where the very concept of diversity no longer seems sufficient to describe reality. Since there is no more convergence with respect to an idea of normality, there cannot even be a uniform view with respect to that of diversity.
More normal, more different. Only an infinity of unique existences. We have borrowed the image of the optical prism, which manages to decompose light, only apparently white, into the infinite spectrum of colors that compose it.