The film was born after I made La Repubblica dei Ragazzi. In that documentary I told the story of the birth of this institution, set up immediately after the war with the scope of helping young people lacking the support of a family. Over the years the organization has evolved, in step with the times: today it is a large family home. The shooting took over a year and a half, a length of time that allowed me to experience and observe the various phases these young people have to go through. Leaving the institute at the age of eighteen is one of these and in Manuel I decided to focus on it. The story is simple: Manuel is sort of a gentle giant who is suddenly thrown into an unfamiliar reality, called on to make choices bigger than himself without even having the time to understand that he is no longer in a bubble of protection, but “outside,” in the middle of the real world. I left a lot of room for improvisation during the shooting, seeking that unique moment, the one that magically happens in that precise instant between fiction and reality.