During the period that goes from 1945 to 1965, the filmmakers Lino Del Fra and Cecilia Mangini lived for three months in the Northern Vietnam during the USA war, in order to produce a documentary about the Vietnamese fight to achieve national unity and independence. Now, two boxes full of 6x6 format photographic negative, forgotten inside an old closet in a garret for more than fifty years, have been unexpectedly found. The discovery has created a chamber movie that tells the story of a war, of a fading memory, and of a fight against time passing.
(Mola di Bari, Italy, 1927) is the first Italian woman documentarist. She is a photographer, writer, filmmaker. She started her career as a film critic, and the found in Lino Del Fra the partner for what concerns both her sentimental and professional life. All alone or together with De Fra (collaborating with Pier Paolo Pasolini too), she started directing documentaries on Italian outskirts and subaltern classes, producing Ignoti alla città (1958), La briglia sul collo (1974), La canta delle Marane (1960), inspired by Pasolini’s Ragazzi di vita, and Stendalì (1960). Throughout Comizi d’amore '80 they dealt with the idea of sexuality and the issue of abortion. In All'armi siam fascisti! (1960), thery were the first filmmakers, alongside Lino Micciché, to introduce a visual insight on the regime, and then to analyse Stalin’s figure in La statua di Stalin (1963). In 2012 Cecilia went to Taranto to represent the uprising against the climate pollution in In viaggio con Cecilia (2013), codirected with Mariangela Barbanente. Torino Film Festival will honour her with the Maria Adriana Prolo Award.
Ignoti alla città (doc, cm, 1958), Maria e i giorni (doc, cm, 1959), Firenze di Pratolini (doc, cm, 1959), La canta delle marane (doc, cm, 1960), Stendalì - Suonano ancora (doc, cm, 1960), La passione del grano (doc, cm, coregia di Lino del Fra, 1960), Fata Morgana (doc, coregia di Lino del Fra, 1961), All'armi, siam fascisti! (doc, coregia di Lino Del Fra e Lino Micciché, 1962), La statua di Stalin (doc, coregia di Lino Del Fra, 1963), Divino amore (doc, 1963), Trieste del mio cuore (doc, cm, 1964), Pugili a Brugherio (doc, cm, 1965), Tommaso (doc, cm, 1965), Felice Natale (doc, cm, 1965), Essere donne (1965), Brindisi '66 (1966), Domani vincerò (1969), La briglia sul collo (cm, 1974), Comizi d’amore ’80 (doc, coregia di Lino Del Fra, 1982), In viaggio con Cecilia (coregia di Mariangela Barbanente>, 2013), Due scatole dimenticate - Un viaggio in Vietnam, (doc, 2020).
“Photographs help me remember things that my fading memory is forgetting. I didn’t recall any of these boxes. Once I took and unfolded them, I started watching the samples and there they were things I had no memory of. Things that came back to me again because photography has the ability to bring back time, space and emotions, to bring back everything.”