Locarno features numerous and wide-ranging Italian docs

Article published on Aug. 6, 2008
community published
Article published on Aug. 6, 2008
The Locarno International Film Festival (August 6-16) is paying close attention to Italian non-fiction this year. Besides Bruno Oliviero, in competition in Filmmakers of the Present with Napoli Piazza Municipio, there are nine documentaries selected for the sidebar Ici & Ailleurs, which also features six chapters of Corso Salani’s Confini d’Europa cycle.

The programmed titles offer an exhaustive range of well-known names (such as Gabriele Salvatores, director with Fabio Scamoni and Guido Lazzarini of Petites historias das crianças, on the humanitarian efforts of the Inter football club players) to lesser-known filmmakers whose work is nevertheless much acclaimed by colleagues, including Tommaso Cotronei (Preparativi di fuga) and Massimo Coppola (Parafernalia, co-directed with Giovanni Giommi)

The themes of the films are also wide-ranging with the most highly anticipated films speaking of recent history and its repercussions on the present. Gianfranco Pannone’s Il sol dell’avvenire (conceived with journalist Giovanni Fasanella) compares today’s Italy with the Italy of the 1970s, and retraces in the experience of a legendary post-’68 commune in Reggio Emilia the ideological roots of one of the founders of the Red Brigades, Alberto Franceschini, and other famous personalities of the terrorist group.

Daniele Gaglianone shot Non ci sarà la guerra in Sarajevo and Srebenica, to see what remains of the war in the individual memory of 28-year-old Zoran and in the collective memory of two cities devastated by the war in the former Yugoslavia.

Art and literature take centre stage in Elisabetta Sgarbi’s Non chiederci la parola (on the architectural complex that is the Sacred Mountain of Varallo, set to the music of Franco Battiato) and Possibili rapporti. Due poeti. Due voci, veteran Nelo Risi’s look at the poetry of Andrea Zanzotto.

Civil commitment was the inspiration behind Giovanni Piperno’s CIMAP! Cento italiani matti a Pechino, on the “mad” trip to Beijing of 77 mentally ill patients and 130 social workers, psychiatrists, family members and volunteers; and Mario Balsamo’s Sognavo le nuvole colorate, the dramatic but hopeful story of an Albanian child who emigrates to Italy.

Gabriele Barcaro