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by Federico Ferrone, Michele Manzolini


In 1941, an Italian soldier is leaving for the Soviet front. The Fascist army is allied with the Nazi war machine. Victory seems close. The convoy moves forward, men are singing and hopeful. The soldier’s mind goes back to the melancholic fairy tales his Russian mother told him. Unlike his younger companions, he has already been to war, in Africa, and he fears it. The train crosses Europe, reaching the interminable expanses of the Ukrainian plains. As winter arrives, enthusiasm wanes under the first mortar shells, the cold and the snow. The most heartfelt desire is no longer victory, but rather a warm bed, food, and to go back home. The immense wind ravaged steppe seems to be inhabited by ghosts.

international title: Once More Unto the Breach
original title: Il Varco
country: Italy
sales agent: Slingshot Films
year: 2019
genre: fiction
directed by: Federico Ferrone, Michele Manzolini
film run: 70'
screenplay: Federico Ferrone, Michele Manzolini, Wu Ming
cinematography by: Andrea Vaccari
film editing: Maria Fantastica Valmori
music: Simonluca Laitempergher
producer: Claudio Giapponesi
production: Kiné, Home Movies - Archivio Nazionale del Film di Famiglia, RAI Cinema
backing: Istituto Luce Cinecittà, Emilia-Romagna Film Commission (IT)
distributor: Istituto Luce Cinecittà
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