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Io sono Li (Shun Li and the Poet)



Io sono Li (Shun Li and the Poet)

io sono li posterCinema Italia 2022 - Multi-ethnic Italy: The new Italians

The Italian Cultural Institute in Sydney once again renews its collaboration with Palace Cinemas in 2022 by presenting a series of screenings dedicated to some of the most significant contemporary cultural and social aspects of Italian life as well as representative figures of Italian cinema, including those only recently appeared to notoriety.

This year the series takes up the title Multiethnic Italy: The new Italians forcibly abandoned in 2021 due to the pandemic, and includes a series of contemporary Italian films that will illustrate Italy which after having been, in the last century, a country of departure for third-party destinations in recent decades it has become a destination for emigration.

Screenings will take place at the Palace Cinemas Norton Street, Leichhardt. Patrons will receive a flute of prosecco upon arrival.

The films will be preceded by a brief introduction by at least one guest who is different from time to time, to whom, at the end of the screening, the public can also ask some questions. The moderator will be Antonella Beconi, coordinator for the Italian language at the Center of Continuing Education of the University of Sydney, on behalf of the Italian Cultural Institute.

The series continues with the screening of the movie Io sono Li (Shun Li and the Poet) by Director Andrea Segre.

Io sono Li (Shun Li and the Poet) (by Andrea Segre, 2011, 98’)

Shun Li (Zhao Tao) has been working in a textile workshop in the outskirts of Rome for eight years to pay off her debt to the people traffickers in order to bring her son to Italy. She is suddenly transferred to Chioggia, a small island town situated in the Venetian lagoon, to work as a bartender. Bepi (Rade Šerbedžija), a fisherman of Slavic origin, nicknamed "the Poet", has been visiting the bar for years. Their meeting is a poetic escape from loneliness, a laconic dialogue between different cultures. It is a journey into the heart of a deep lagoon, known to be a mother and birthplace of identity. But the friendship between Shun Li and Bepi disturbs both communities, Chinese and Chioggia,io sono li interna and hinders this new journey, which perhaps is simply still too scary. They part ways but, like the ocean, are drawn back together again.

Zhao Tao won the 2012 David di Donatello for Best Actress for her performance as Shun Li.

Q&A with Yingje Guo, professor of Chinese Studies at the Sydney University, and Gabriele Abbondanza, Researcher and Lecturer at the Sydney University and an Associate Fellow at the Italian Institute of International Affairs (IAI).


  • Full price: $20
  • IIC members, Palace Movie Club members & Students: $15*

       * University of Sydney, UTS, UNSW, Macquarie University, Centre of Continuing Education students

Information and bookings:


Date: Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Time: At 6:30 pm

Organized by : Istituto Italiano di Cultura

In collaboration with : Palace Cinemas

Entrance : With fee


Palace Cinemas Norton Street, Leichhardt