Cinema Lumiere - Sala Scorsese > 16:15


Pier Paolo Pasolini (non accreditato), Giovanni Bonfanti

Followed by a conversation with Maurizio Ponzi, Karl-Heinz Dellwo, Gabriella Angheleddu, Goffredo Fofi and Roberto Chiesi, organized by Centro Studi – Archivio Pier Paolo Pasolini di Bologna and Laika Verlag (Hamburg)


Monday 29/06/2015


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

“It was a time, more than any other, when we came close to losing formal democracy in Italy”. With these words, Pier Paolo Pasolini was referring to the bloodshed of 12 December 1969 when a bomb exploded at the Banca Nazionale dell’Agricoltura in Piazza Fontana in Milan resulting in the death of seventeen people, and the ‘accidental death’ of anarchist Giuseppe Pinelli three days later. He fell from the police station where he was being questioned, falsely accused of being one of the explosion’s perpetrators. A collective from Lotta Continua wanted to make a protest film and found an unexpected spokesperson in Pasolini, who raised the funding to make it (through the PEA) and even helped devise and shoot it alongside activist Giovanni Bonfanti. In that period, Pasolini was viewed negatively by the extra-parliamentary groups that had not forgiven him for the poem Il PCI ai giovani!! (1968), in which he accused the student movement of being an offshoot of the bourgeoisie. The writer-director admired many aspects of Lotta Continua’s militancy and so, based in part on an initial draft by Goffredo Fofi, he created a film comprising a sort of political and anthropological trip through Italy at the start of the 1970s, focusing on some of the iconic episodes of change happening around the country. Lotta Continua wanted a more educational militant film, but the project went more in the direction preferred by Pasolini (who personally shot some of the sequences in Milan, Musocco, Carrara, Bagnoli, Naples and Viareggio, which are the only ones he filmed of Italy in the 1970s), although he had to accept some compromises and suppression of various sequences. Shot between December 1970 and the summer of 1971, presented at the Berlin Festival (the same year in which I racconti di Canterbury won the Golden Bear) and distributed exclusively within the cultural circuit of Circoli Ottobre (parallel to Lotta Continua), the film has many noteworthy sequences: among these are the interviews with Pinelli’s widow and mother, who talk of their tragedy with great clarity; a silent and misty scene at Musocco cemetery, where the anarchist was buried at the time; a series of striking shots of the 1970 revolt in Reggio Calabria; a sequence among the hovels of Naples, where the inhabitants were living in extreme poverty; and finally a scene shot in the home of a family of Sicilian immigrants in Turin. In the credits, Pasolini is not credited as 12 dicembre’s filmmaker. It is only stated that the film was based on an idea of his. In reality, on a recently discovered audio recording of a meeting with some students on June 22, 1972 at Pasolini’s home, the writer-director states: “Stylistically it is very similar to Comizi d’amore. I worked on it, I edited it, I chose the interviews, but I didn’t put my name as a director, because the lawyers that saw it told me it was very dangerous, that they would have put me in prison. So we found a way of putting my name to it so that those who wanted to understand would understand, but officially there could be no action against me. I shot about sixty percent, but I put it all together. But – and this is the point – I didn’t put in my ideology. On the one hand I expressed reality, on the other the ideas of Lotta Continua”.

Roberto Chiesi

Cast and Credits

Sog.: Pier Paolo Pasolini, Giovanni Bonfanti, Goffredo Fofi. F.: Sebastiano Celeste, Roberto Lombardi, Giuseppe Pinori, Enzo Tosi, Nicola Dimitri. M.: Pier Paolo Pasolini (non accreditato), Giovanni Bonfanti, Maurizio Ponzi, Lamberto Mancini. Mus.: Pino Masi. Interventi: Edoardo Di Giovanni, Nazareno Fiorenzano, Marcello Gentile, Augusto Lodovichetti, Rosa Malacarne, Giuseppe Mattina, Aldo Palumbo, Liliano Paolucci, Licia Pinelli, Cornelio Rolandi, Achille Stuani, Pasquale Valitutti, Pier Paolo Pasolini (voce intervistatore). Prod.: Alberto Grimaldi per PEA (non accreditato) · DCP. Bn.