Scen.: Stefano Consiglio. F.: Cesare Accetta. M.: Silvia Di Domenico. Mus.: Nicola Piovani. Int.: Giuseppe Bertolucci, Attilio Bertolucci, Bernardo Bertolucci, Fabrizio Gifuni, Lidia Ravera, Mimmo Rafele, Marco Tullio Giordana, Laura Morante, Gian Luca Farinelli, Aldo Nove, Nanni Moretti, Stefania Sandrelli, Sonia Bergamasco, Emanuele Trevi, Roberto Benigni. Prod.: Célestes Images, Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna, Solares Fondazione delle arti, Verdiana, con il supporto dell’Emilia-Romagna Film Commission. DCP. D.: 91’. Col.
A film on the life and many talents of Giuseppe Bertolucci, a film, theatre and television director, as well as writer, poet and cultural organiser… It is told through the words of his father, Attilio, and brother, Bernardo, through the testimony of friends and colleagues like Lidia Ravera, Mimmo Rafele, Marco Tullio Giordana and Nanni Moretti, and through the recollections of some of his favourite actresses: Stefania Sandrelli, Laura Morante and Sonia Bergamasco. It also includes a contribution by Gian Luca Farinelli (Giuseppe was the president of the Cineteca di Bologna for over a decade) and the participation of Fabrizio Gifuni, Emanuele Trevi, Aldo Nove and Roberto Benigni (with a brand new monologue written as a homage to his long-time friend). Then there is Giuseppe’s own figure and voice, which we see in many interviews, backstage clips, debates… and in his final, moving theatrical performance, A mio padre – Una vita in versi.
How does one go about narrating such a multifaceted artist and such a richly human individual as Giuseppe Bertolucci, with whom I shared a deep bond for such a long time? This was the first question I asked myself when I began work on a film about him, a project that, for me, was both painful and exciting. The answer came to me when thinking about another Bertolucci, his father, the poet Attilio, who used the following words by Paul Klee as an epigraph to his famous essay Poetica dell’extrasistole: “Follow every beat of his heart”.
This is what I attempted to do, searching through the material I had available (both that which I shot and that which already existed) and developing the story through similarities and contrasts, with the odd ‘free association’. (In any case, in a film on Giuseppe, psychoanalysis had to feature somewhere…). It was an emotional journey, more than a biographical or critical one.