A boy who is often the target of bullies begins turning the tables with distressing results in this drama from Italy. Valerio (Mattia De Gasparis) is a skinny and awkward teenager who along with his younger sister (Michela Cova) is being raised by a single mother in a working class neighborhood.
Valerio becomes the butt of a long string of cruel jokes when, while showering after gym class, one of his classmates accuses him of looking at another boy a little too long.
Valerio has grown tired of defending his masculinity when one day he walks into the shower and discovers star swimmer Dani (Alberto Gerundo) in an embrace with Matteo (Andrea Semeghini).
Now that Valerio has some incriminating information on one of his tormentors, he wastes no time making use of it, lobbing vicious insults at Dani and Matteo and making increasingly larger demands to keep their indiscretion a secret.
Valerio's cruel streak begins to make itself known to his friends and confidantes, though he's careful not to let his sister or mother see this new, unpleasant side of himself. The First Day of Winter (aka Il primo giorno d'inverno) was an official selection at the 2008 Venice Film Festival.