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FILMS Italy

Romanzo di una strage, Giordana’s truth on Piazza Fontana

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- With rigour and dryness, the director recounts the massacre of December, 12, 1969, a tragedy which has become part of the country’s DNA.

Romanzo di una strage, Giordana’s truth on Piazza Fontana

The massacre of Piazza Fontana was a kind of Italian "September 11". The explosion which on December 12, 1969, destroyed the Banca Nazionale dell'Agricoltura di Milano, killed 17 people and injured 88, made a profound mark on the future of a democracy which was still in its early days and was the archetypical crime after which sons, symbolically, no longer believed their fathers.

For this reason Romanzo di una strage [+see also:
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, the film directed by Marco Tullio Giordana and produced by Cattleya in collaboration with Rai Cinema, up for release on March 30 in 250 copies with 01, is an important one. Because, as the director said, "a film serves to explain the story and the truth. The tools of literature, cinema, art, have the ability to touch on chords which politics cannot touch". Today Piazza Fontana can no longer be a question mark, "especially for the younger generations, who have a right to know". From the very beginning, starting with the title, Giordana quotes Pier Paolo Pasolini: the poet and director, who had immediately lent the massacre to poetry. "Patmos", calls his famous article which appeared on November 14, 1974, in the Corriere della sera, “The Novel of the Massacres” when he republishes it in Scritti corsari. "I know but I don’t have the proof", Pasolini wrote. "Today", says Giordana, "we can say that we know, that this tragedy has become part of the DNA of the country’s history".

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Charlemagne Youth Prize

Together with his co-writers Sandro Petraglia and Stefano Rulli, Marco Tullio Giordana uses the tools of pure investigation, without leaving any space for the more visionary aspects of cinematographic imagination, as done by Marco Bellocchio with Buongiorno Notte [+see also:
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or Paolo Sorrentino for Il Divo [+see also:
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interview: Nicola Giuliano
interview: Paolo Sorrentino
interview: Philippe Desandre
film profile
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. For over 40 years there have been enquiries, counter-enquiries and trials which have led to the neo-fascist Franco Freda and Giovanni Ventura, from Veneto, being identified as responsible, thanks to some members of the secret service. However, no judge has been able to condemn the culprits. Giordana goes further and marries the (much criticised) theory expressed in the book by Paolo Cucchiarelli, Il segreto di piazza Fontana, according to which on that day there were two bombs, one anarchical and the other neo-fascist.

For this reason the film asks questions about a historical truth and does not leave any alternatives: whether or not to accept his point of view. And it pushes us to discuss.

Divided into chapters (Warm Autumn, The Innocent, Red Track, The Reason of the State etc.) Romanzo di una strage unravels a very dense plot: the first investigations undertaken by chief police officer Luigi Calabresi (Valerio Mastandrea), the arrest of the anarchist Pietro Valpreda, the long interrogation of the non-violent anarchist Giuseppe Pinelli (Pierfrancesco Favino) who falls mysteriously out of his office window. The extreme Left’s whispering campaign against the chief police officer, fuelled by the office of Internal Ministry affairs, the judges who reveal the first scraps of truth on Veneto’s neo-Nazis, the closed meetings between the President Giuseppe Saragat (Omero Antonutti) and the Foreign Minister Aldo Moro (Fabrizio Gifuni), who promoted opening up to the opposition at a time of social unrest, student and labour conflicts. Finally the murder of chief police officer Calabresi, on May 17, 1972.

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(Translated from Italian)

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