Just Say Know: The Films of Tao Ruspoli Vol. 1
Winner, The Other Venice Film Festival 2005
"Just Say Know from other drug documentaries is the candid nature with which the subjects discuss drugs, their addictions, and themselves... For a refreshingly honest and original look at the effects of drugs on real people, this is a real standout short." - FilmCritic.com
"Just Say Know" is beautiful and in many ways profound, and full of life. Filmed in California and Rome and southern Spain, the film, through candid family interviews, chronicles filmmaker Tao Ruspoli's family's longtime submission to heroin and opium. Ruspoli interviews his father, Prince Dado Ruspoli, mother Debra Berger, and younger brother Bartolomeo about their addiction and recovery. It's a short film and powerful in its poetry and frankness. Ruspoli's interviewing is skilled in its subtlety and sincerity - he asked difficult questions but with a heart. The camera work was dynamic, interesting and diverse without being disjointed. There's substance here and poetry - Ruspoli's father quotes a bit about Cocteau that blew me away - "I saved the man but killed the poet" - and Ruspoli never strays from the thematic thread. Dado Ruspoli - what a character. I was glad to have met a bit of the legend. And Ruspoli's mother - an artist who offered another insightful facet to the addiction that the Ruspoli family knew so intimately for so long. The perspectives are interwoven seamlessly, and with obvious tender care. What Ruspoli chose to leave out is almost as intriguing as what he included.
Dado Ruspoli, Debra Berger, Bartolomeo Ruspoli
Most Excellent Short: The Other Venice Film Festival