Naples 1888. Etienne Jules Marey, a well-known French scientist, lives in his villa by the sea and studies movement and photography. Working to analyze the human jump, Etienne contacts a young promising dancer named Gaetano. Their meeting will change the lives of Gaetano, and of his brother Tunino, forever. Their nightmarish everyday experience, comprised of work, poverty, and oppression, will transform itself into a feverish search for a way to escape. Charmed by the scientist and helped by their new friends, Apollonia, a red-haired, housemaid, and Philippe, a French musician and anarchist, Gaetano and Tunino will be involved in a sequence of successes and failures, including experiments in flight, journeys to Paris, the wonders of the Exposition Universelle, their first sexual experiences, and even violent riots and attacks, all the way to the miraculous invention of cinema. Their lives will be continually perched on the edge, between desire and fear of breaking the rules.
Mara Fortuna (Naples, 1956) works as an English teacher, journalist, and writer. As a columnist for an online newspaper she deals with gender questions, and for a dance magazine she writes reviews. Her previous publications include short stories and a novella. Currently she is the manager of ‘La Principessa Azzurra’, an association working against gender discrimination and violence.