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BIX

Italy, 1991 (MIFF 1991, Pupi Avati)

Director: Pupi Avati

Director's Note: "Bix (portrayed by Bryant Weeks, a young American actor 'discovered' in screen test No. 449 out of 450) is a homage to a mythical figure from my youth.

I met Bix Beiderbecke by chance because of the flu. I was 15 years old and my mother borrowed a book for me from the local library called The Guide to the Jazz Greats. And there, summed up in two and a half pages, I found out about Bix's life. A white boy, growing up in the provinces, with a deep desire to break out and rebel against his middle-class family roots and Puritan background. I identified with him and the ridiculous thing was I also tried to become a jazz musician. A project that lasted 15 years. In vain.

Instead, the movie camera turned out to be the instrument that I had to play in life. But four years ago, Bix came back, with tremendous impact, into my world. And once more when I was sick. While recuperating, I received a present, the Evans-Schvalter book on Bix, a very comprehensive biography which I took upon myself, with poor English, and a good dictionary, to translate, four or five pages a night.

But this wasn't enough. And together with my brother Antonio, we decided to set up an international research team working an Bix's life. Little by little, a picture emerged of a young man leading a dual existence: decent and good in his dealings with family and breaking all the rules with his life in New York...

Above all, the film throws focus on the more private side to his character, his relationship with his mother and father. I hope audiences are pleased." - Pupi Avati.

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