Production by LuxVide, Rai
Produced by Luca Bernabei, Matilde Bernabei, Jan Michelini
Directed by Jan Michelini
BLANCA, a series written for RAI 1 prime time and scheduled for 2021, is a crime drama whose originality lies in having a blind person as protagonist and providing the investigation’s “point of view”.
Blanca is a lively, upbeat character capable of lightening up every circumstance, starting from her own condition. She is full of all the energy a young woman can have when she is on the verge of realizing the dream she has cultivated since childhood: working as a police consultant.
Of course, so far it’s only a six-month internship. And in the police station she will have to contend with the distrust of her new bosses and colleagues, in a male-dominated and somewhat old-fashioned working culture. She will have to relate to Commissioner Bacigalupo, who is one-pointedly set on reaching retirement without too many hassles, and with Inspector Liguori, son of a decadent nobleman and an unscrupulous lawyer, himself dangerously charming. To win their trust, Blanca will have to show she can make an original contribution to investigations, thanks to the skills and abilities she has honed over the years.
Actually, Blanca lost her sight when she was twelve, in a dramatic fire in which her older sister died. At the time, her testimony had been decisive in nailing the culprit and restoring justice – the only consolation in an early life shrouded in darkness.
Since then, she has come a long way: she has learned to get around with the help of her faithful guide dog; to orient herself in the dark; to ‘read’ profoundly by touch, sound, and olfactory stimuli; and to mentally envision spaces and get her bearings. When something from the surrounding environment attracts her attention, it’s as if she’s entered a “black room”, in which she isolates each sound produced by a thing or a person, while everything else disappears. This is because paradoxically sight often distracts, whereas when blind you can pinpoint faster the very heart of things, people, and situations. Because, no matter how careful someone is in choosing their words to hide the truth, the tone of the voice never lies.
These are qualities that in the eyes of the viewer may appear to be actual superpowers, but which ironically Blanca must depend upon in order just to be a normal girl.
Even though she will never be normal… because her unique reality is exactly what makes her extraordinary. Consequently, Blanca manages to upset the life of the police station and her new colleagues like a breath of fresh energy, charged up like her favourite music, the funk she listens at full volume at home and on the city streets. A type of sound in contrast to the Genoese urban landscapes, and one that reveals a great deal to us about this vital, daring, richly imaginative, and feminine young woman.
So, Blanca the series aspires to be an elegant and warm Italian crime drama, fitting right into the RAI tradition of a procedural featuring a single protagonist, but also adding innovative touches.
It is set in Genoa, where the contrasts of the metropolitan landscape are tempered by the beauty of the sea, by the palaces and squares of Italy’s largest and perhaps most unknown medieval historic centre, and with occasional forays into neighbouring places, such as San Fruttuoso and the Cinque Terre.
Each of the 6 100’ episodes will focus on a murder mystery in a different setting, chosen from the most characteristic and distinctive spots in Genoa: from the new bridge (the series will be set in 2021) to the port, passing through the Rolli and the alleyways of the centre. Each thriller will deal with a different world, different neighbourhoods inhabited by diverse social strata and souls, just as varied as Genoa truly is, made up of numerous municipalities that have been united into a single city, yet without actually merging, each preserving its own unique identity. From the decayed nobility to the port stevedores, from the executive class to the fish poachers… Characters who will be depicted with discernment and a pinch of comedy.
In addition to the vertical mysteries, the horizontal thread of the story will consist of Blanca’s romantic plotline, as she’s attracted to and divided between two men, her colleague Liguori and her friend Nanni; from the flashbacks of the past, in which her bond with her sister and the fire that changed her life will be explored; and finally from her relationship with Lucia, the twelve-year-old daughter of the Pilot’s victim.
Thanks to the divergent settings of a city like Genoa and a great female character, in whom fragility and the capacity for independence powerfully coexist, Blanca will be a profoundly Italian series, but at the same time thoroughly international.