Del Punta’s Haiti cherie in competition at Locarno
by Gabriele Barcaro
13/07/2007 - Traditionally, Italian is the most common language spoken at the Locarno Film Festival and the 60th edition (August 1-11) is not exception.
Expectations were already high with Saverio Costanzo (Golden Leopard winner with Private [trailer]) and Agostino Ferrente (who last year closed the festival with The Orchestra of Piazza Vittorio [trailer]) in the two main juries; the retrospective on the ladies of Italian cinema promoted by Cinecittà Holding; and Marco Bellocchio and Marco Tullio Giordana, featured in “Retour à Locarno” with Fists in the Pocket and To Love the Damned.
What was missing, to comfort those disappointed by Cannes, was the announcement of the official program. It arrived yesterday and confirmed the ties between Locarno and Italy: Claudio del Punta’s Haiti cherie [trailer], produced by Esperia Film, will be vying for the Golden Leopard. Featuring non-professional actors, the film offers a true investigation of the plantations of the Dominican Republic, where slavery is a scourge that poisons sugar and life.
Also in competition is Fulvio Bernasconi’s Fuori dalle corde, an Italian/Swiss co-production (Bianca Film, I.T.C. Movie, Ticino’s Ventura Films and Radiotelevisione Svizzera di Lingua Italiana) set in Trieste in the world of underground boxing that promises easy money, and brings back to Locarno Maya Sansa after Il vestito da sposa.
There are two other Italians in the Cinema del Presente section: Corso Salani with Imatra, produced by Vivo Film, continues his journey to the borders to Europe that previously led to him to Gibraltar and Portugal. Here, the destination is a small town between Finland and Russia, where “attempts are made to appease and calm the bitter conflict into less hostile and more fruitful co-habitation”.
The atmosphere could not be more different in Tagliare le parti in grigio, the feature debut by Vittorio Rifranti, produced by Red Line. The film promises to be about Cronenberg-esque ambitions and obsessions set among car accidents, scars and body art.
However, Locarno is also the Piazza Grande. While it is obviously not a premiere, the organisers did not want to give up My Brother is an Only Child [trailer, film focus] di Daniele Luchetti, a public success in Italy and the Cannes’ Directors Fortnight this year.
However, attentions willl be turned above all to b>Alina Marazzi, at the festival in 2002 with For One More Hour With You and Per sempre in 2005. She returns this year with Vogliamo anche le rose, co-produced by Mir Cinematografica and Ventura Films. Once again a documentary with home movies, super 8 films and private videos, the film recounts the condition of women post-WWII with three exceptional companions: Teresa Saponangelo, Anita Caprioli and Valentina Carnelutti.
There are also numerous Italians in the parallel sections (the retrospective promoted by Filmitalia on Ursula Ferrara, the tribute to Studio Azzurro, Elisabetta Sgarbi’s Il pianto della statua) and while it is impossible to list everything, of note is Sergio Basso, among the Leopards of Tomorrows section of talent to keep an eye on in the future, whose Dora is his graduation film from the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, a school that in the past has produced more than one Leopard winner.
(Translated from Italian)