Twice Born

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For the Indian concept, see Dvija.
Twice Born
Venuto al mondo.jpg
Directed by Sergio Castellitto
Produced by Sergio Castellitto
Roberto Sessa
Screenplay by Sergio Castellitto
Margaret Mazzantini
Story by Margaret Mazzantini
Starring Penélope Cruz
Emile Hirsch
Release date(s)
  • 13 September 2012 (2012-09-13) (Toronto)
  • 8 November 2012 (2012-11-08) (Italy)
Running time 127 minutes
Country Italy
Language English
Budget €13,000,000

Twice Born (Italian: Venuto al mondo) is a 2013 film directed by Sergio Castellitto. It is based on a novel by Margaret Mazzantini.[1]



Gemma (Penélope Cruz) visits Sarajevo with her son, Pietro (Pietro Castellitto). The two of them had escaped the city sixteen years ago while the boy’s father, Diego (Emile Hirsch) remained behind and later died during the Bosnian War. As she tries to repair her relationship with Pietro, Gemma is forced by revelations to face loss, the cost of war and the redemptive power of love.


The film was shot over 15 weeks in digital using the Arri Alexa system.[2]


The film had its world premiere at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.[3]


The film received negative critic reviews. It holds an 18% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 22 reviews.

About the film, The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Dripping with floridly phony dialogue that no actor should be forced to speak, this paternity mystery uses the Bosnian conflict as the manipulative backdrop to a preposterously overwrought and overlong melodrama."[verification needed] Variety added that the film had "little to offer beyond some pitiful twists."[verification needed] Screen International went on to write, "director Sergio Castellitto’s adaptation of Margaret Mazzantini’s novel leaves no cliché unturned, yearning for big emotions that are consistently flattened by the lumbering storytelling."[verification needed]


  1. ^ Lussier, Germain (2012-09-05). "‘Twice Born’ Trailer: Penelope Cruz and Emile Hirsch Star In A Tale Of Motherhood And War". Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Weintraub, Steve (2012-09-17). "Sergio Castellitto TWICE BORN Interview". Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Knegt, Peter (2012-09-05). "TIFF List 2012: A Complete List of All Films at the Toronto International Film Festival". Retrieved 17 September 2012. 

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