The Solitude of Prime Numbers

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The Solitude of Prime Numbers
The Solitude of Prime Numbers.jpg
Film poster
Directed bySaverio Costanzo
Produced by
  • Philipp Kreuzer
  • Mario Gianani
  • Anne-Dominique Toussaint
Written by
Music byMike Patton
CinematographyFabio Cianchetti
Edited byFrancesca Calvelli
Distributed byMedusa Film
Release date
  • 9 September 2010 (2010-09-09) (Venice)
  • 10 September 2010 (2010-09-10) (Italy)
Running time
118 minutes

The Solitude of Prime Numbers (Italian: La solitudine dei numeri primi) is a 2010 Italian drama film based on the novel of the same name by Paolo Giordano. Directed by Saverio Costanzo, the film was nominated for the Golden Lion at the 67th Venice International Film Festival.[1] The soundtrack was composed by Mike Patton and released in 2011.[2]

The title is explained by arguing that Mattia and Alice are like twin primes: both lonely, close to each other but separated by an even number.


The film is set in Italy in 1984, 1991, 2001, and 2009 and jumps back and forth in time.

Mattia and Alice (children in 1984, teenagers in 1991) are both traumatized, and isolate themselves from the people around them.

When he was a child, Mattia's mentally disabled twin sister Michela goes missing whilst he was supposed to look after her. He is intelligent and becomes a successful scientist, but he sometimes cuts himself on purpose.

When Alice was a child she had a skiing accident; which results in her having a permanent limp and a significant scar on her thigh. As a teenager she is bullied by female classmates.

They meet while teenagers and become friends, but lose contact when Mattia goes to work in Germany. Eight years later Alice writes him a very brief request to come back to Italy, which he does, and they reunite.



  1. ^ "Venezia 67". 29 July 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  2. ^ Stubbs, David (March 2012). "Mike Patton - The Solitude of Prime Numbers". Classic Rock (168): 99.

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