Sebastiano Mauri, was born in 1972, in Milan, and has lived there as well as in New York and Buenos Aires. An artist, writer and director, in 2012 he wrote the novel Goditi il problema (Enjoy the Problem) and in 2015 the essay Il giorno più felice della mia vita (The Happiest Day of My Life), both published by Rizzoli. In 2017, he won the Premio Flaiano Opera Prima with Favola (Fairy Tale), his first film.
La Nuova Terra
(The New Land)
Ugo Guanda Editore, March 2021
A chance trip to the Amazon rainforest and a revelation through a ritual with a medicinal plant, the ayahuasca. A sharp, biting journey towards maturity, one that turns into an earnest universal appeal to respect the world in which we live.
Persuaded by his cousin Nur, to whom he’s never been able to say no, Leone arrives in the heart of the Amazon. Soon, he is hurled into a world outside time, where people are healed with ceremonies where they take ayahuasca, a psychoactive decoction that has many therapeutic properties. Through psychedelic mental journeys, visions inside his own body and thanks to enlightening conversations with the ayahuasca‘s all-too-human voice, Leone embarks on the hardest battle there is: the one against himself and the demons he’s been fighting all his life. The lessons he receives make him question everything: his work as a television writer, a stagnant relationship, an identity built around toxic masculinity and the very values of a society that chooses to keep blindly heading towards self-destruction despite a heralded climate disaster. Leone’s is an involuntary shamanic journey that is both reluctant and – despite himself – often funny. He hits rock bottom before getting back up again, but the courage of looking reality in the face may teach him to live in harmony with his own nature and Nature.