Finally, there’s Katia and Manuel. She’s a “graphic,” which I presume to mean that she’s either a graphic designer or illustrator (comics, children’s books, and so on). Either job works just as well as the other in context. Manuel is an immunocompromised photographer, so he is more or less homebound, even from going to get the necessities at the corner store. Thus, when Katia ventures out, she must be extremely careful.
In terms of the people that we follow proper, that is all of them. But there are several clips and segments taken from various social media, including TikTok, that show off people singing on their balconies, strumming the guitar, or playing the piano in their home. Then there are the vistas of the (mostly) empty streets and hallways. No one is out unless need be, and Rome has never been this quiet.
“…a timely story that crosses borders and language…”
But, as Missgerberina put it, “…in an emergency, Italy comes together and acts as one” in a patriotic show of solidarity. What brings life and visceral energy to I Stay Home is seeing precisely the same sort of situations occur halfway around the world as are happening in the U.S., China, South Africa, or any of the other 210 (as of the latest data available when writing this review) countries facing down the Coronavirus.
While the people featured are being serious, so they can help save lives, they are still out to connect and be social. It just so happens that being social now means talking via one of several technological ways, not face to face. Director Casalis nimbly keeps that idea alive, so the documentary is serious, but it comes across as hopeful and even a bit fun.
Again, I Stay Home may not be as engaging a watch in a few years’ time, maybe even just one year. But, Paolo Casalis has crafted a timely story that crosses borders and language to be a heartfelt, fascinating look at a whole country that is under quarantine. We might not all be the same, but the world over, we do have shared experiences. This will help everyone deal with the current, uncertain, somewhat scary time we are all facing right now.
"…comes across as hopeful and even a bit fun."