Gianni Amico

Sog.: Gianni Amico, Mario Nicolao. F.: Carlo Ventimiglia. M.: Roberto Perpignani. Mus.: dall’album We Insist! Freedom Now Suite di Max Roach · Beta SP. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Noi insistiamo! is a series of black and white photographic images creating a triptych dedicated to jazz musicians “for years at the forefront of the fight for black freedom”: a world text where the responsibility of white men is brutally evident. And yet, the wonder of freedom transcends ideology and embraces a new awareness. Built around the recording of the famous album We Insist! Freedom Now Suite (composed by Max Roach based on a poem by Oscar Brown Jr., with vocals by Abbey Lincoln and Coleman Hawkins on saxophone), the film magically combines images with music: skilled cinematographer Carlo Ventimiglia ensured the images were of high quality, and Amico, with his love of music and his sensitivity, deftly handled the music. A productive dynamic between image and sound in which the latter is not referential accompaniment of the former but rather an ally in creating new perspectives of meaning. “Between Roach’s angry surges, the flashing montage and bursts of Abbey’s voice, it is hard to tell who is behind a demand for social justice and who behind a much vaster rebellion […]. Suffice it to say that the viewer is spellbound and this ability to captivate is both equally the work of the musicians and the filmmaker” (Jacques Bontemps). All of it admirably balanced by the editing work of Perpignani, who noted how Amico’s films were “rooted in the reality of feelings midway between observation and participation. Looking at life while inside it, and perhaps the inability to convey something that is not actually a matter of experience. His aristocratic nature perhaps also consisted in this”.

Marco Bertozzi

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