Sog.: Callisto Cosulich. Scen.: Raffaele Andreassi, Callisto Cosulich, Ottavio Jemma. F.: Giuseppe Aquari. M.: Jolanda Benvenuti. Mus.: Piero Umiliani. Prod.: Lucio Marcuzzo per Publi Italia · DCP. Bn.
The original story outline printed in November 1962 was titled Storie proibite – dodici storie di quelle donne proibite, written by Raffaele Andreassi who emphasized that “this film will not focus on the more obvious sides of prostitution nor on its sensationalistic, crude and vulgar qualities, which are present at every step; my job instead is to extract the more poetic and human elements from this dense material; so to a certain extent these women can reclaim their dignity through the events of their lives and their pain”.
The idea was embraced by Callisto Cosulich, who co-investigated with Andreassi the streets of Rome, interviewing prostitutes, gathering stories and ideas (and spit) that would go on to form “a canovaccio and not an actual script” developed by the two with Ottavio Jemma’s help.
The agreement with the production company, Lucio Marcuzzo’s Publi Italia, was for a cine-investigation on prostitution with at least six of the stories put together by Andreassi performed by the prostitutes themselves or non-professional actors. The film was to be titled L’amore povero.
Andreassi chose the (eight) episodes creating an “anthology of various and symbolic situations of a marginal world of simpler sentiments but also of the more frequent psychological and sexual deviations,” convinced that he had successfully moved “the focus of the conversation onto a particular attention to man, his psychological alterations and the experiences underlying his behavior”.
The producers were not of the same mind about the film’s achievement or at least it was not what they had expected because they decided (“despite the violent reactions of the authors” who were even denied the right to remove their names from the credits) to distribute it with the title I piaceri proibiti (Forbidden Pleasures), after butchering a whole episode, Le metamorfosi, and cutting the initial interviews that clarified the filmmaker’s ‘documentary’ intent.
Its inevitable failure ended up being worse than imagined and was a negative mark in Raffaele Andreassi’s career. As was his habit, Andreassi silently held on to a copy of the butchered episode and several fragments of the interviews edited out by the production company. Armed with these and I piaceri proibiti, we have put together a copy of L’amore povero and are presenting this anthology of lost women and men that is closer to the filmmaker’s original version.