Fireworks takes place in a small Sicilian town during the summer of 1982. Two teenage boys become close friends who eventually fall in love with each other, much to the disapproval of those around them, including their parents. The relationship soon becomes a topic of gossip in their small town, and despite everyone’s objections, the two dream of living together, something the community is determined to stop.


Gianni (Samuele Segreto) is a handsome but shy teen who works as a car mechanic at his stepfather’s garage. He’s regularly taunted and bullied by the local males who hang out at the cafe across the street, because of rumours of him being gay. It’s typical macho group mentality where no one speaks up to defend, letting the attacks continue. There’s one older guy who sometimes stands up for Gianni, which we later find out more about the possible reasoning why.

Gianni adores his mother, who is trying to raise him without his father, who left them to go work in Germany. She also shares the same adoration for Gianni, but is uncomfortable and worried about him because of the town gossip about his sexuality. His stepfather makes it clear he’d rather have Gianni out of the house, and even wishes death upon him.

With his family life no better, Gianni withdraws into himself until one day he accidentally meets Nino (Gabriele Pizzuto), a curly-haired boy with an infectious smile and a seemingly happy family life. Gianni eventually meets Nino’s family and is offered various jobs within the family businesses, from quarry work to assisting with the fireworks displays. 

As the two become closer and eventually develop an attraction for each other, the moral rumblings from their families and neighbours begin to erupt. All is going well, until the two families have a discussion around their son’s intimate relationship.

With all against them, the boys decide to make a stand, determined to ensure Love Wins. In the end, they do, but at what cost? This is a tragic story that looks back at a time in the not too distant past, when being queer was shunned upon, and small-minded ignorance caused huge grief and isolation among those who were deemed different within society. 

Fireworks is based on a real-life incident, one which actually jump-started the Italian Gay Rights movement in 1981. It’s an emotional story of love in the face of hatred and ignorance, set amid the beautiful Sicilian imagery. 

Available from Cinephobia Releasing

Cast: Gabriele Pizzurro, Samuele Segreto, Fabrizia Sacchi, Simona Malato, Antonio De Matteo, Enrico Roccaforte

Producers: Riccardo Di Pasquale, Gabriele Oricchio, Eleonora Pratelli

Screenwriter: Giuseppe Fiorello, Andrea Cedrola, Carlo Salsa

Cinematographer: Ramiro Civita

Editor: Federica Forcesi

Music: Giovanni Caccamo, Leonardo Milani

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.