Country: Italy
Year: 1998
Duration: 58'

On June 18 1946 Don Umberto Pessina, the pastor of San Martino church in Correggio, was killed. This was the most famous of the crimes in the so-called "triangle of death". Two ex-partisans were judged guilty of the crime and the young Communist mayor of Correggio, Germano Nicolini, was condemned as the instigator of the homicide. Nicolini served more than ten years in prison. Fifty years later, in 1993, the court of Perugia issued a final verdict absolving them of the crime and demonstrating that the condemnation was the result of a set up made by the carabinieri, the legal system, and the local curia. However, the Communist Party has its own "skeletons in the closed" too. Even though its leaders knew the names of people guilty of crimes, they preferred to use Nicolini's personal odyssey as a propaganda weapon. It was the PCI itself that was preventing the re-opening of the trial because it did not want to dredge up an embarrassing past that was also marked by "ricocheting bullets".

"The first aim of Communists is to describe a generation of militants - Nicolini, the people guilty of the crimes, and the PCI leaders who are still alive. They were influenced by the partisan struggle to consider events touching individuals often only as things that are on the edge of the great movements of History. These men found themselves mixed up in a welter of contradictions in which 'No one wanted the truth', to quote the title of Nicolini's memoirs. Communists is a project that grew out of the shooting of Materiale resistente and developed over a span of three years. First I worked alone, and then I worked with the irreplaceable Daniele Vicari, who I met when I was working on Partigiani, and without whom this film could not have been what it is. It is obvious that this third documentary that was shot in Correggio was made possible by the two preceding ones and by the relationship we set up with the partisans there who, in this case, made themselves available to tell stories and tell of events that on other occasions they had shied away from for fear of creating a sensation. This film is beyond any revisionist temptation. It is about men and their ideals" (D. Ferrario).


film director

Davide Ferrario

(Casalmaggiore, Cremona, Italy, 1956) graduated in Anglo-American literature. In the beginning of the 1980s he works with different cinema magazines and organizes film festivals and events. He is the author of many essays on cinema, of novels and several screenplays. He has directed short films and documentaries, and, among the long feature films, we would like to mention La fine della notte, Tutti giù per terra, based on the novel by Giuseppe Culicchia, and Guardami, screened in Venice in 1999. His novel Fade to Black, with fiction figure of Orson Welles, has been translated in many languages and in 2006 became an Oliver Parker’s film production of the same title. He partecipated at the Torino Film Festival with several titles, among which Materiale resistente (1995), codirected with Guido Chiesa, Sexx (2016), and Cento anni (2017). In 2020 he presented at the Festival the documentary feature Nuovo cinema paralitico (2020).


Non date da mangiare agli animali (cm, 1987), La fine della notte (1989), Lontano da Roma (doc, 1991), Anime fiammeggianti (1994), A Rimini (cm, 1995), Il figlio di Zelig (cm, 1995), Materiale resistente (co-regia Guido Chiesa, doc, 1995), Confidential Report (doc, 1996), Estate in città (cm, 1996), Partigiani (doc, 1997), Tutti giù per terra (1997), Figli di Annibale (1998), Sul quarantacinquesimo parallelo (doc, 1998), Guardami (1999), Comunisti (doc, 1999), Linea di confine (doc, 2000), La rabbia (doc, 2000), Le strade di Genova (doc, 2001), Fine amore: mai (doc, 2002), I Tigi a Gibellina (doc, 2002), Mondonuovo (doc, 2003), Dopo mezzanotte (2003), Se devo essere sincera (2004), La strada di Levi (doc, 2006), Tutta colpa di Giuda (2009), Piazza Garibaldi (doc, 2012), La luna su Torino (2014), La zuppa del demonio (doc, 2014), Accademia Carrara: il museo riscoperto (doc, 2015), Sexxx (doc., 2016), Cento anni (doc., 2017), Nuovo cinema paralitico (docufilm, 2020), Blood on the Crown (2021).

Daniele Vicari

Daniele Vicari was born in Castel di Tora (Rieti) in 1967 and graduated with a degree in film history and critique from the University of Rome. He writes for the magazines "Cinema Nuovo" and "Cinema Sessanta", and is active in cinema as a teacher and in the organization of cinematographic reviews.


Il nuovo (cm, 1993), Mari del Sud (cm, 1996), Partigiani (1997, co-regia Guido Chiesa, Davide Ferrario, Antonio Leotti), Comunisti (1998, co-regia Davide Ferrario), Uomini e lupi (cm, 1998), Bajram (cm, 1998), Non mi basta mai (1999, co-regia Guido Chiesa), Sesso marmitte e videogames (cm, 1999), Morto che parla (cm, 2000).


& Credits

Director: Davide Ferrario, Daniele Vicari.
Plot: Davide Ferrario.
Director of photography: Andrea Pierpaoli.
Sound: Gianluca Costamagna.
Music: Officine Schwartz, CSI, Modena City Ramblers.
Editor: Ilaria Fraioli.
Production company: Franca Bertagnolli, Davide Ferrario - Dinosaura, via San Martino 9, 24129 Bergamo, Italy, tel. +39-35-252969.