38° Torino Film Festival


Vera Melis, an eleven-year-old girl who loves astronomy, mysteriously disappears on the Ligurian coast while she throws the ashes of her beloved dog into the wind. Two years later, she returns home but doesn’t remember anything about her past life. Her parents are distraught but a DNA exam confirms that it really is Vera. Over time, her memories begin to resurface and the girl realizes she has lived the life of Elías, a guard at the ALMA astronomical observatory in Chile. Elías, who had been declared clinically dead after a heart attack, woke up the same moment Vera vanished into thin air.

Nuovo cinema paralitico is a project that came about through the collaboration between Davide Ferrario and the author and poet Franco Arminio. Using numerous short films, the project offers a poetic image of a “marginal” Italy, far from residential areas and forgotten by the official media. The title is an affectionate nod to the movie by Giuseppe Tornatore but the term “paralitico” indicates a conscious choice: a cinema that takes slowness and the intensity of the gaze as it contemplates daily life, and turns them into a remedy for sensationalism and the tyranny of current events that dominate communications.

Ezio Gribaudo, an artist, editor, and cultural promoter from Turin, is now ninety years old. He opens the door of his studio to us: a place overflowing with canvasses, photographs, objects, and tools of the trade. He tells us about when he encountered art, about how he has never stopped painting, sculpting, constructing, and experimenting with techniques and materials. During his lifetime, he has been consecrated at the Venice Biennale, Rome’s Art Quadriennale, the São Paulo Art Biennale; he has received the Gold Medal for Culture and Art. Today, his works are exhibited at the MoMA, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Ca’ Pesaro in Venice, the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris… Right from the start, he began his activity as an editor, publishing over eighty monographs on 20th-century art. The movie recounts the singular story of an artist who has shaped his personal life around his vocation, stretching his own boundaries and the possibilities of experiencing the world.

One hundred million Euros vanish as the result of online fraud. The main suspect is a client of Fernando Piazza, a Milanese lawyer and the son of Ugo, a well-known criminal who was killed years earlier. Fernando’s mother, Nelly, has battled her whole life long to make sure that her son’s destiny would be different from his father’s, but now Fernando is in danger. The money was stolen from a front company of the ‘ndrangheta, which intends to get revenge and is ready to unleash a war between clans. A tribute to the cult Milano Calibro 9 (1972) by Fernando Di Leo, hallowed by the presence of the icon Barbara Bouchet.

A collection of stories of people who survived the political violence and terrorism of the 1970s. In Rome, the two students Luigi and Francesco in the winter of 1974 they were both wounded by the neo-fascists. In 1979 the feminists Nunni and Anna are hit by Nar. Vincenzo is a policeman who escaped a fire fight with the Brigate rosse in Piazza Nicosia, in Rome. Renzo is a banker hit in Turin in an attack by Prima linea. With Super8 movies and unpublished testimonies, Monica Repetto tells the extraordinary “normality” of ordinary people in the years of lead: men and women entangled in history.

The United States is considered a symbol of freedom, the great social experiment made of democratic principles, equality, and the pursuit of happiness. But does this ideal of prosperity and individual freedom reflect the life of all American citizens? My America recounts today’s United States: a nation grappling with increasingly complex social problems and heightened political tensions that have weakened the distinctive characteristics of what is considered the most powerful democracy in the world. Besides this social malaise, there is also the ability and determination of regular citizens who try to challenge and repair the country’s moral fiber.

Maria S. lives nearby the seaside, within the province of Naples. She has a precarious job and no love ahead. Her mother is essentially mute. Forty years before, an extreme left-wing activist killed her father, a near-twenty-year old vice-brigadier, during a political rally. Maria was born two months after the killing. One day she found out that the killer had a name, a face and a job; he now lives in Milan after having paid for his murder in prison. “Now I know the person to detest,” thinks Maria. Then, she paints her hair and takes a high-speed train to get to know him. But she has a gun with her.

In the temple on Mount Helicon, the mythical home of the muses of the arts, Thalia is responsible for her other sisters. When a courier from the delivery service AmaZeus delivers a package to the temple, the muses are tempted by the new technology: Clio’s amphora will grant their every request in exchange for their personal data. L’anfora di Clio was supposed to be the final chapter of the stage trilogy Le muse di Elicona, but since it was impossible to perform the play due to the lockdown last spring, it was reinvented as an opera movie, an audiovisual product that unites different languages, from film to opera.

Goffredo Fofi does not want to be considered an intellectual but he has spent his life founding magazines, writing books, reviewing movies. The film portrays his tireless political and cultural work and his encounters with famous figures such as Elsa Morante, Carmelo Bene, Danilo Dolci, Aldo Capitini, Totò, Luis Bunuel, Ada Gobetti, Raniero Panzieri, Pasolini, Fellini… People with whom “it was nice to fight” but, in certain cases, it was just as nice to make up with them. And then, 1968, the extra-parliamentary groups, ideological excesses, discovering new authors and directors. Social work as a political resource. The profile of a heretical intellectual and an extraordinary cultural organizer reveals a very critical view of Italian society, its power mechanisms, and the injustice that leaves a mark on it.

Between 1967 and 1977 Italian Art experiences a moment of glory on the international art scene. Art comes out from galleries and museums and becomes expression of social and political change. Gallerists and Italian critics open their doors to the boldest international artists, like Joseph Beuys, Herman Nitsch or Marina Abramovic, who find in Italy the opportunity to freely experiment with visionary and challenging languages. The film describes a period when Italy was the centre of international avant-garde.

What happens when a school has to close because of a health emergency? The scholastic community finds itself modifying its activities and routines, reconfiguring its very roles, and often reacting where other institutions cannot. This is the story of what happened in a number of schools in Turin: it collects the testimony and materials of students and teachers during the institutes’ lockdown. It is both a chronicle, testimony, and verification of the topics highlighted by the emergency. A choral story, the story of a type of school that wanted to be closer to its end users so that no one would feel excluded. It is also a reflection on what schools might become, in a future that has never been so close.

Three brothers gather in their childhood home. Their mother has to tell them something. Christmas is just around the corner. There is also a girl. She looks so familiar. There is a wait and a forced vicinity. A new fish for the aquarium and an engagement ring. Old school notebooks and a remote control device that can’t be found. A telephone that rings and an old story about Native American shamans. There are certain spirits, in that house, which have a hard time going away.

Lena is thirty years old and about to get married but she is going through a moment of crisis with her fiancé and can’t give a name to the feeling of emptiness that surrounds her. Thanks to the companionship of her friends, she is able to mitigate part of her dissatisfaction, but in the long run she is tired of a life made of study, chit-chat, and evenings on the town. She only finds refuge in phone calls with a stranger she met by chance during a summer thunderstorm. An iconic film of the stagnation during the Brezhnev era, the portrait of a generation of Muscovites who are lost in their own dreams and deprived of a future.

Father Antonio Loffredo is the key advocate of the rebirth of Rione Sanità, in Naples. From the church of Santa Maria della Sanità the stories of all the protagonists of the film unfold, with developments, plots, hopes and difficulties overcome and to be overcome. Boys who have taken control of their destiny pursuing a dream they have given soundness and certainty to: running of and tour-guiding at the Catacombs, schools of theater, music, sculpture and a new sports center. All this, which only fifteen years ago seemed impossible, has become reality. As Father Antonio Loffredo likes to repeat, “at Rione Sanità Humanism either becomes humanity, or it dies.”

With the aid of the invaluable archive containing Franca Valeri’s artistic performances and kept by the Teche Rai production, this documentary gives a complete vision of one of the actresses who made the history of theatre and television. Through her wittiness, her irony and her iconic characters, Franca Valeri (who died last August at 100) entrusted to us a segment of the Italian society, reconstructed after the second world war.