Twice Born

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Twice Born
Venuto al mondo.jpg
Directed bySergio Castellitto
Produced bySergio Castellitto
Roberto Sessa
Screenplay bySergio Castellitto
Margaret Mazzantini
Story byMargaret Mazzantini
StarringPenélope Cruz
Emile Hirsch
Distributed byEntertainment One
Release date
  • 13 September 2012 (2012-09-13) (Toronto)
  • 8 November 2012 (2012-11-08) (Italy)
Running time
127 minutes

Twice Born (Italian: Venuto al mondo) is a 2012 film directed by Sergio Castellitto. It is based on a novel by Margaret Mazzantini.[1]


Oft-married Gemma visits Sarajevo with her only child, Pietro. The two of them had escaped the city sixteen years ago, just days after his birth during the Bosnian War. Diego, her second husband and Pietro's father, remained behind and later died. As they travel with her wartime friend Gojko, she tries to repair her relationship with Pietro, asking her third husband (by phone) if she should tell Pietro that she did not give birth to him. Gemma is later stunned by the revelation that Pietro's real mother, Aska, is still alive and married to Gojko. Aska reveals that, contrary to Gemma's long held belief, Diego was not Pietro's father, as she had been a sex slave to a garrison of the Serb Volunteer Guard. Gemma must 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 a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 23 reviews.[4]

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."[5] Variety added that the film had "little to offer beyond some pitiful twists."[6] 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."[7]


  1. ^ Lussier, Germain (5 September 2012). "'Twice Born' Trailer: Penelope Cruz and Emile Hirsch Star In A Tale Of Motherhood And War". Retrieved 17 September 2012.
  2. ^ Weintraub, Steve (17 September 2012). "Sergio Castellitto TWICE BORN Interview". Retrieved 17 September 2012.
  3. ^ Knegt, Peter (5 September 2012). "TIFF List 2012: A Complete List of All Films at the Toronto International Film Festival". Retrieved 17 September 2012.
  4. ^ "Twice Born". Rotten Tomatoes.
  5. ^ Rooney, David (18 September 2012). "Twice Born: Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  6. ^ van Hoeij, Boyd (23 September 2012). "Review: 'Twice Born'". Variety. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  7. ^ Grierson, Tim (9 September 2012). "Twice Born". Screen International. Retrieved 23 September 2012.

External links[edit]