The invasion of legal gambling in Italy: a trip in a social, political, media and cultural invasion   

What would you be willing to lose, in order to win?

The movie

"I would like a vineyard to produce wine, I dream a park for my baby, I'll be a great film producer, I chilled champagne at all hours, I will give my children a bright future, of my Team will do the President, with a betting my company feeling good. A million to Julius, a million to Mary, I want to build my motoring Team, I splurged, I'll take you away. Let me dream, with the betting in my hand. Let me dream, I’m an Italian."
(Superenalotto Advertising – Sisal)

"Plays with moderation!"
(Responsible gambling campaign – Sisal)

Italy is under attack. The invader is not a foreign state. The enemy is hard to identify, but its presence on Italian territory is already so widespread and deeprooted that it can easily be taken for an ally. It’s legalized gambling, a perfect money-making machine which last year alone whipped 100 billion euros out of Italians’ pockets. An invisible tax, paid voluntarily. A tax on the people. It is a vicious circle that has economic, political, media and cultural facets, all adapted to a single overriding purpose: profit. But the people making the money are very few, while those facing hardship and poverty are many. Because one thing is for sure – the only to win at gambling is to run the game.

Next Screenings

Next screenings of Living high Life:

Thu March 28

Cerignola (FG)

6:00 p.m.

Sala Consiliare P.zza della Repubblica

Sat March 30


6:15 p.m.

Auditorium S. Giuseppe/S. Chiara

Mon April 1

Vergato (BO)

9:00 p.m.

Biblioteca Paolo Guidotti

[Previous screenings...]

Previous screenings

--- 2015 ---
August 13 and 14 – Festival del Film Locarno
September 12 and 20 – Milano Film Festival
October 14 – Trento – Cinema Astra
November 11 – Senigallia – Cinema Gabbiano
November 12 – Fano – Cinema Politeama
December 14 and 15 – Bari – Cinema Splendor
--- 2016 ---
January 23 and 24 – Caccamo (Palermo) – Basilica di Caccamo
February 3 – Caserta – Cinema Duel
February 6 – Pisa – Ex Convento Cappuccini
February 9 – Carpi – Cinema Corso
February 12 – Garbagnate Monastero (Lecco) – Sala Consiliare
February 19 – Noventa di Piave (Venezia) – Teatro San Mauro
February 20 – Monastier di Treviso – Centro Polivalente
February 21 – Limena (Padova) – Sala Falcone Borsellino
February 22 – Vicenza – Cinema Primavera
March 18 - Palazzolo Acreide (Siracusa)- Sala Verde
March 20 - Gela (Caltanissetta) - Cine Teatro Antidoto
March 22 - Mogliano Veneto (Treviso) - Cinema Teatro Busan
March 23 - Padova - Cinema Esperia
April 1 - Modugno (Bari) - Teatro G. Fava
April 5 - Alessandria - Multisala Kristalli
April 5 - Tortona (Alessandria) - Multiplex Stardust
April 6 - Acqui Terme (Alessandria) - Cinema Ariston
April 12 - Lanciano - CiakCity Cinema
April 13 - Scandiano (RE) - Cinema Teatro Boiardo
April 15 - L'Aquila - Cinema Movieplex
April 18 - Mantova - Cinema Mignon
April 19 - Romano D'Ezzelino (VI) - Sala Comunale
April 20 - Cittadella (PD) - Sala Emmaus
April 21 - Roncade (TV) - Sala Consiliare
April 22 - Porto Tolle (RO) - Sala della Musica
April 26 - Rimini - Cinema Settebello
April 27 - Senigallia (AN) - Cinema Gabbiano
April 28 - Bologna - Cinema Perla
April 29 - Potenza Picena (MC) - Cinema Divina Provvidenza
May 3 - San Giorgio su Legnano (MI) - Sala Consiliare
May 4 - Bari - Cinema Esedra
May 12 - Andria - Cinema Roma
May 19 - Tremezzo (CO) - Parco Teresio Olivelli
May 20 - Zogno (BG) - Cinema Trieste
May 24 - Altamura (BA) - Cinema Grande
June 25 - Corigliano D'Otranto (LE) - Castello De Monti
July 20 - Como - Sala Stemmi
July 29 - Vico Equense (NA) - Social World Film Festival
August 19/25 - Teheran (IRAN) - Ammar Popular Film Festival
August 22 - Senigallia (AN) - Cinema Gabbiano
August 23 - Como - Piazza Martinelli
October 19 - Legnago (VR) - Cinema Teatro Salus
October 21 - Preganziol (TV) - Sala Granziol
October 22 - Bolzano - Teatro Gries
October 27 - Bitetto (BA) - Auditorium Liceo Scientifico Statale E. Amaldi November 21 - Milano - Cinema Beltrade
November 22 - Rezzato (BS) - Cinema C.T.M.
November 23 - Vestone (BS) - Cinema Auditorium
November 24 - Villanuova sul Clisi (BS) - Cinema Corallo
November 25 - Bolzano - Sala Nicoletti
November 26 - Azzate (VA) - Cinema Castellani
--- 2017 ---
April 30 - Nardò (LE) - Teatro Comunale
May 18 - Roma - Nuovo Cinema Palazzo
May 20 - Vigevano (PV) - Cinema Teatro Odeon
May 22 - Bellano (LC) - Cinema di Bellano
May 23 - Bergamo - Cinema del Borgo
November 21 - Ferrara - Cinema Boldini
December 12 - Bibbiano (RE) - Cinema Teatro Metropolis
--- 2018 ---
February 26 - Trieste - Libreria Knulp
May 10 - Roè Volciano (BS) - Auditorium Comunale
May 16 - Gussola (CR) - Sala Polivalente Giovanni Paolo II
June 27 - Nettuno (Roma) - Tracce Cinematografiche Film Festival
December 2 - Chieti - Sala Cascella (Camera di Commercio)
December 16 - Pisa - Sala Consiliare di Calci
--- 2019 ---
February 11 - Castagneto Carducci (LI) - Circolo Arci Donoratico
March 15 - Villaricca (NA) - Tensostruttura Karol Wojityla


Do you want to organize a showing in your cinema? To promote discussion about the issue of gambling in Italy through your association, your town, your school, university, firm, club or anywhere you think there might be an audience interested in the subject?
Send an email to


After three years of research, discussion, documentation, collection of audio and video chats (I prefer at the term "interviews") with doctors, experts, activists in the field and pathological gamblers, we were able to build a precise point of view, incisive and above all a global view of the phenomenon "legalized gambling".

To achieve this, it was necessary to realize, however, a broad analysis. An analysis that led us to investigate three main contexts pivotal and dependent on each other (the political/economic, media and socio-cultural), which show the absurdities, paradoxes and the atrocities that characterize the legal gambling in the Beautiful Country, that creating a perfect cross-section to tell the last two decades in Italy and an economic, social and cultural crisis that seems almost planned from above, at the table.

Click for download the English Press Book [pdf]
Download the official poster [jpg]

PRESS OFFICE - Carmen Cafarella
+39 3294057070


Speaking of gambling in 2015 could be "fashionable", since lately we hear journalistic voices about scandal on TV. But the subject is treated in the same manner with which the media treat any other subject, or with detachment, pointing to the audience rather than to information. They talk about numbers, about how the legal gambling gives a return to the State or companies who run it, about how many players get sick of "game addiction" (a journalistic term that does disgust, because the playful aspect here has nothing to do) or maybe they show on tv hooded people sentenced, front of a wall, to tell how much money they threw away in gambling, when maybe they hide behind a lot more than just figures of money. But above all where were those same journalists, when in 2009 the crisis gripped the Italian population, which even then was beginning to pour so manic in tobacco shops, bingo halls or in front of slot machines?



Lean on those walls I saw the elderly, the unemployed, pensioners, children who should have been in school, but also young mothers with children in tow. So ordinary people who used their time in this way. At first I did not mind so much the amount of money they spent, but the more the enormous amount of time they employed in that activity. Time stolen from their lives. I wondered if they had nothing better to do, I was wondering who knows what they could achieve in their lives, if only they had spent all that time, that passion, those efforts in a constructive activity and of common benefit to society. And consequently how many more people could benefit from those efforts and that time rather unfortunately wasted chasing a hypothetical payout of money.

I have observed these people for two years, and they were more and more. But it is in 2011 that one episode that I felt dreadful, and I believe still that, has completely changed the way I see the phenomenon of legal gambling, lawful and almost worshiped by the State. During Christmas Eve there is the traditional exchange of gifts between friends and relatives. In that year and that Christmas a lady, a friend of the family, decided to give an envelope to a mysterious girl of 16 years. The curious girl opened the envelope and inside she found five scratch cards 10 Euro, ready to be scraped together with the lady who asked the girl to do it immediately, through a certain ritual she was pursuing. The sadness of that episode was the cause of my mobilitation. Finding out what was happening to the Italian company became an urgency for me, felt and lived often and in too many situations of "social life", which now could hardly be called so. I felt that this story needed to be told because, the very people who had ruined their lives with gambling, at some point began to ask it. They wanted to scream, to testify, to find out if the faults were exclusively attributable to them or if maybe someone had boosted their personal tragedy. But above all they want to help those who may be able to fall into their own mistakes. And they will not do it by the numbers we hear in the news, but telling their stories. Because the numbers are quickly forgotten, a story that touches and excites common feelings to each of us, is more etched in the collective memory.



Play the trailer



"At first listen it feels great surprise and a bit of disorientation, then slowly prevails catching and ferocious irony of the lyrics,
that containing corrosive criticism of the consumer society and entertainment."

(L’isola della musica italiana - Magazine)

A journey through different musical styles mixed with originality to tell the vices and virtues of a society on the edge of the surreal.
The U'Papun are the composers of the original soundtrack of the documentary "Living high Life".
Videoclip of the song Signora Fortuna.

Visit their website and listen to their music on Youtube.


Living high Life receives the support and participation of:

  • Stills 1

    • Stills 2

      • Stills 3

        • Stills 4

          • Stills 5

            • Stills 6

              • Stills 7

                • Going around Italy

                  • Clippings

                    • Marco dal Maso - Mind the g.a.p.

                      • GEC Art

                        • Campaign against minor gambling from State’s Monopoly

                          • Various

                            Buy the film

                            You can buy Living High Life on DVD and Blu-Ray and order it via PayPal or Credit Card. If you prefer to make a transfer, please contact us to our mail
                            You will receive the film comfortably at home.


                            ITALY shipping: 6,50 EUR (up to 2 DVD)

                            INTERNATIONAL shipping 12,50 EUR

                            THE CREW

                            Fabio Leli - 09/14/1986 – Director, Author and Producer: After gaining a degree in communication in 2009 and a diploma in screenwriting and directing from the Accademia di Cinema e Televisione Griffith in Rome, Fabio Leli began making his first short films. He was assistant director and screenwriter for various Italian and international projects. In 2014 he wrote and directed The Social Networld – A Love Story, a short film which garnered a number of awards and was presented at the Roberto Rossellini Italian Cultural Institute in Los Angeles. In 2015 he completed his first full-length feature, Vivere alla Grande, presented in World Premiere at 68° Festival del Film Locarno and at 20° Milano Film Festival for National Premiere.

                            Carmen Cafarella – Journalistic and Production Collaboration: She’s graduated in Literature - Publishing and Journalism, working with some online newspapers and radio stations. It runs a blog of news reporting and has recently registered in the register of Journalists Publicists.

                            Giampaolo Magnani and Simone Marchi: Shooting operators

                            Alberto Ladduca: Audio

                            Director's statement

                            Living hig Life is the dream of every gambler. Living high Life is the title of this documentary. But Living high Life is also the name of a scratch card really existing, which promises a payout of 500,000 euros immediately, plus 10,000 euros for twenty years, more than 100,000 euros of final bonus. Who would not be attracted by the hope for a win like that? Living high Life is then especially the hope of resolving their own lives with the passage of a coin on silver paper of a paper ticket. Unfortunately, hope can be a clever trap set by those who created it that ticket, because the probability to make the payout, resides only in 5 tickets. Five tickets over 30 million tickets. But unfortunately this is not written on the ticket.

                            The documentary project "Living high Life" is born with the intent to inform and tell the big deception that suffer every day millions of people in Italy. But not with the pretension to take the viewer with boring facts and figures, but articulating the information in a story, trying to understand what is happening before their eyes, in the most pleasant and attractive as possible.


                            For any questions, request or curiosity about the movie, write to



                            tel. 349/1292936

                            "Gambling is the best way
                            to get anything from something"

                            Wilson Mizner

                            Credits - Living High Life

                            A Human Tree S.r.l.s. Production
                            With Collaboration of Banca Etica, Libera Puglia and Compagnia Sharazad
                            Editing Audio/Video Armando Avolio Fabio Leli
                            Cinematography Italy Giampaolo Magnani Simone Marchi
                            Cinematography Puglia Fabio Leli Luca Desiderato
                            Audio Alberto Ladduca
                            Journalistic and production collaboration Carmen Cafarella
                            Original Music U’Papun
                            English Translation Serena Franchino and Rare Swan Press (Renée Sigel & Clara Ballerini)
                            Graphic Contributions Mirko Lapomarda
                            Poster Realization Alberto Peconio Giorgio Frasca Giovanni Fornarelli Fabio Leli
                            Web Site Roberto Leli
                            Written, Produced and Directed by Fabio Leli