Berlin: Benedict Cumberbatch to Narrate Documentary ‘Naples ‘44’

Benedict Cumberbatch - H 2015
John Phillips/Getty Images for BFI

The Academy Award-nominated actor is set to bring to life Naples after its Nazi occupation in World War II.

Academy Award-nominated actor Benedict Cumberbatch has signed on to narrate a new documentary detailing the underbelly of life in Naples following the liberation of the city from Nazi occupation after World War II.

Francesco Patierno will write and direct the film based on Norman Lewis’ war diary Naples '44. The documentary will be a combination of archive and feature-film footage from famous movies set in the city.

Lewis is widely considered one of the best English-language travel writers, with Naples '44 one of his most significant works. The book reveals the story of Naples after the war, in which working-class people and noblemen lived side-by-side in an impoverished city. Lewis describes in humanistic detail the effects of the war on everyday life and the resilience and struggles of everyday culture.

The film will be shot for theatrical distribution, with a running time of around 80 minutes, and is slated to be finished by the second half of the year.

Davide Azzolini and Francesca Barra at Naples-based Dazzle Communication and Rai Cinema are producing. True Colours is handling international sales at Berlin's ongoing European Film Market.