The most beautiful years. How illness changed my life

Log line

Learning to jump over the obstacles on his horse has taught Giacomo that life must be faced with courage and determination. Thus, when only 18 years old receives the diagnosis of cancer, he decides that it can become an opportunity to transform his existence.


‘I was walking and I suddenly felt my leg becoming weak’. With these words Giacomo, a 21 years old boy, tells how he discovered he had a femoral tumor. It happened three years ago when his life was entirely devoted to ride horses and racing. But those that have passed since then have been for him, paradoxically, ‘the most beautiful years’. In a short time, hospitalizatio>n, diagnosis, a first operation, then chemotherapy. Telling his experience in a book has become a help to him. A post written on Facebook and shared by so many people, says Giacomo, ‘gave me the impression that I was not alone’ and that ‘what happened to me could help someone else’. From that post born the book ‘We are not immune’, where he talks about the changes due to the disease, the rehabilitation, and the discovery of love for study and writing. Every three months, however, the controls continue, all in order until March 2016, when the word ‘recurrence’ appears. And doctors this time put Giacomo in front of a choice: If he wants to increase the chances that cancer does not return, he must amputate his leg. But it is just after the amputation that Giacomo decides to go back to competing sports and discover rowing, looking for new challenges and new races.

Technical Details 

DIRECTED BY: Livia Parisi

SCRIPT: Livia Parisi and Giacomo Perini

SHOOTING: Francesco  De Luca and Giancarlo Sanfilippo

EDITING: Livia Parisi and Kami Fares

COLOR: Kami Fares and Lorenzo Lattanzi

SOUND: Lorenzo Lattanzi


MUSIC: Silver Julio and Vincenzo Bardaro






Journalist and videomaker, with a degree in Contemporary History, Livia Parisi focused for years her attention on social issues. After several journalistic experiences, she works now by the Press Agency ANSA.
   She made videoreportages on the conditions of the Roma  people (‘Gold mine’, 2011,15′) and a documentary on the activities of a theatrical company of patients of Mental Health Center in Puglianello (‘Gatta Cenerentola’, 2013, 32′), screened at numerous events such as Mat Festival in Modena.
    In Palestine and Israel she filmed the conditions of the palestinian inhabitants and realized four videoreportages (‘Al Khalil’, 2012, 12′; ‘Women break barriers’, 2013, 16′; ‘The Game’, 2014, 20′), with she won the price “Premio della Nonviolenza” in 2015.
    ‘Casa Nostra’ (2014, 60′), documentary about the occupation of abandoned spaces as emergency solution of the housing problem, is her first film. It has been selected by the Bari International Film Festival. The short version of the docufilm ‘The Most Beautiful Years, So Illness Changed My Life’ (2017) was awarded for Best Screenplay at the Overtime Film Festival 2017 and Best Shortfilm 2017 in the contest “Oncology and Cinema” of the Italian Association Medical Oncology (Aiom).
Contact me at liv.parisi@gmail.com