Those few minutes when history entered fiction

Whatsapp
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Telegram

By MANUFACTURING MARIAROSARIA*

Comment on the film “The monster on the first page”, directed by Marco Bellocchio

In 1972, Marco Bellocchio was invited to take over the direction of Slam the monster on the front page (The monster on the front page), replacing Sergio Donati[1], screenwriter, screenwriter and director of the film, officially removed from the project for health reasons, or perhaps because of disagreements with the producer or with its main interpreter, Gian Maria Volonté, or even because he did not feel up to the task. challenge of venturing into a genre of work different from those that characterized his production, Bellocchio asked for a few days to rewrite the script, with the collaboration of critic Goffredo Fofi, setting the story in the political moment that Italy was experiencing on the eve of the elections of May 7, 1972 and highlighting the role of the press and its relationship with power.

The film's plot revolves around the murder of Maria Grazia Martini, a young Milanese schoolgirl, from the upper middle class, whose violated body had been found in a garbage dump on the outskirts of the city.[2] A commonplace piece of police chronicle news, which turns into a criminal case of great repercussion from the establishment of a link between the student and a political activist of proletarian extraction, Mario Boni. Who seizes the occasion is Giancarlo Bizanti,[3] editor in chief The newspaper, interested in diverting readers' attention from the accusations that weighed on the journal's owner, engineer Montelli,[4] implicated in the arming of the most radical wing of the right, as insistently denounce left-wing and extreme-left newspapers (paese sera, the manifesto, lotta continues).[5] And so, with the complicity of the delegate in charge of the investigations and with the presence of a photographer and journalist Lauri,[6] both The newspaper, at the time of arrest – which guarantees the morning news a scoop –, a “monster” will end up on the front page of The newspaper, with a headline in which his political ideology is highlighted: he is a left-wing extremist.

The involuntary collaboration, because skilfully manipulated by Bizanti, by Professor Rita Zigaina,[7] that sheltered the militant in exchange for crumbs of love, will make it possible to dismantle the young man's alibi, who first denies having met the girl on the fateful day, to later admit the meeting, but proclaim his innocence. The extreme left counterattacks, calling a press conference to denounce the smear campaign carried out by the Milanese newspaper and minimize the relationship between the young worker and the malleable educator.

The call sheet reads: “… tension strategy, inaugurated by the bombs in Praça Fontana.The newspaper, an organ of the most reactionary right, is mainly responsible for the arrest of Mario Boni. The newspaper with the police is known to everyone and, especially in this case, it is certainly not out of love of justice, but to provide public opinion with the right victim at the right time. seek to deceive”.

Just getting the scoop is not enough for Bizanti, who tries in vain to create a confrontational situation during the press conference, sending the naive Giuseppe Roveda to represent the newspaper, with the hope that he will be attacked. In order to keep the readers' interest, he once again asks for the collaboration of the unscrupulous Lauri, who discovers and denounces the location of the device belonging to the young activist's companions to the police, which leads to the arrest of five more members of the group Luta Contínua, friends of " monster", as will be pointed out The newspaper.[8]

In charge of the case, Roveda, during the reconstruction of the crime, talks with a colleague from another newspaper, who draws his attention to the electoral use that the morning paper is making of that story. Feeling like a puppet in the hands of his boss, Roveda revolts, but receives a harsh reprimand, in which Bizanti reveals his ideology like never before: “Do you want to criticize our political line or do you want to give me a lesson in professional ethics? […] The Martini case is a symptom, an indication of the situation. Have you ever wondered why The newspaper receive so many letters? Because for ordinary people this murder is a symbol of the breakdown of the country and people are afraid. […] I agree, I and The newspaper we tease. We do not count reality objectively, but what objectivity, Roveda? Ever wondered who Mario Boni is? He is a marginalized person who refuses the rules of social interaction, [...] he attacks The newspaper, attacks the workers who do not want to go on strike, kidnaps the leaders, overturns the cars and sets them on fire, it is someone who hates you too, Roveda, with his good feelings and his noble idealisms. You see in the journalist an impartial observer. Well then, I tell you that these impartial observers make me feel sorry, we must be protagonists, not observers, we are at war, we are also carrying out the class struggle, it was not invented by Marx and Lenin”.

An ideology that reappears in a round table broadcast on television, in which the editor-in-chief takes the side of “the majority of citizens who respect the most obvious norms of civil coexistence” and against a “minority of people, shall we say, turbulent, and I, in that minority, include perverts, perverts, dangerous patients and even nihilists, who want to destroy everything, without posing the problem of what to oppose. You ask me who is the majority? And I answer who works, who pays taxes…”

Another almost soliloquy, in which Bizanti resumes a speech about the intrinsic servitude that subjects him to the owner of the newspaper or to any boss, molding his ideas for her and being fully aware of his choice. It's the chat he had with Rita Zigaina, during the first meeting between the two, when she accused him of being a shitty journalist:

“Look, there's only one thing I don't want to become, half revolutionary and half dumb like certain pathetic colleagues. Therefore, it is better to write consciously for a shitty newspaper than to pretend to save your soul by spitting in the dish you eat. Nowadays, in my opinion, we cannot afford that, to be romantic, even in our twenties. I don't understand their idealism, their freedom doesn't fascinate me”.

Roveda's investigations lead to the discovery of the true perpetrator of the crime - the school's janitor, in love with the young student and dissatisfied with her sexual freedom -, but this does not interest either the editor-in-chief or the owner of the office. The newspaper, who decide to carry out the farce and perhaps reveal the truth only after the elections.

The monster on the front page it was shot in a very adventurous way. In a few days [...], I had to improvise as a director and even rework the entire script, because I didn't believe in the script that had been written at all. I asked Fofi to help me, because the script also seemed lacking in relation to traditional canons. And we thought we'd take advantage of the occasion to make a more live political speech, we had few days and it was inevitable to be schematic. Since, in those weeks, the 1972 election campaign was underway, we thought of making her a protagonist in the film. Before, she was simply an Italian policeman who had little to do with politics. We tried, somehow, to talk about all those political lynchings in the great Italian press at the time” – stated Bellocchio in a conversation with Sandro Bernardi, in 1978.

Lino Micciché, disagreeing with the filmmaker, considered that the plot engendered by Donati “worked very well, that the narrative devices seemed orchestrated by a professional screenwriter, that the polemical meaning of the story was revealed, significant and evident”, in the example of “a case of journalistic banditry” carried out by a periodical that made a reactionary and classist use of information.

Based on the new script, a detective film became yet another exponent of Italian political cinema and a commissioned work received a strong authorial charge, thanks to the addition of a large dose of ideology, in addition to some elements that have always characterized the achievements of the director, like the pathology of the real killer, or the extreme love of the teacher. For Gian Piero Brunetta, however, in The monster on the front page – as it had been in In the name of the father (In the name of the Father, 1971) and will be in marcia trionfale (triumphal march, 1976) –, the “author's gaze” was not clearly manifested; on the contrary, “these films adopt[ed] the style of Ferreri, Petri, Damiani, Rosi”, although not to the same extent.

In this way, Brunetta brought together in a single bundle both directors who had emerged as renewers of Italian cinema in the early 1960s (Marco Ferreri, Bellocchio), and those who had become the great representatives of the so-called Italian political cinema (Elio Petri, Damiano Damiani ) or those who had transited between the two strands (Francesco Rosi). By placing everyone under the sign of political cinema, the film historian not only denied the authorial mark, as the achievements of these directors seemed to be interchangeable, but also allowed the very effectiveness, if not the existence, of political cinema to be called into question.

Effectively, in those years, due to the fact that they had to bow to the film industry’s schemes, the achievements of engaged cinema were accused of participating “wholly in the productive and ideological game of power, placing themselves, moreover, as a false alternative to spectacular cinema and declaredly bourgeois, thereby mystifying facts and men who belong to revolutionary culture and ideology”, in the words of Goffredo Bettini and Elena Miele.

Bellocchio, however, not only disdained Italian political cinema, but repeatedly declared that he did not want to betray his comrades in struggle, even in a commissioned film, although he was no longer a political activist. The filmmaker had not been active in the group focused on in the film, Continuous Fight, but had participated in the Maoist organization Union of Italian Communists (Marxist-Leninists), which emerged in October 1968 from the merger of the Student Movement of Rome and the Milanese collective Sickle and Hammer. , which, initially linked to the Trotskyist Fourth International, had adhered to Marxism-Leninism with the dissemination of the ideas of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, which began in 1966. The UdCI, which edited the periodical Serve the popolo, in 1969 financed the production of documentaries Il popolo calabrese ha rialzato la forehead e Long live the 1st maggio rosso e proletario, which Bellocchio directed anonymously.

The companions of Luta Contínua, however, demolished the film, pointing out a merely casual relationship between fiction and reality, considering folkloric figures both militants and journalists, police and powerful, accusing the director of raining in the wet, as the tricks of power had already been unmasked, and of having denigrated the working class, which, practically absent from the plot, “runs the risk of seeming, instead of a potentially revolutionary class, a class of those on the sidelines”, according to an article published in the organ of the movement.[9]

Unlike the writer of lotta continues, Sandro Scandolara, in a very generous reading, pointed out that none of the characters, even the minor ones, were just sketched: “all provide the most precise justifications for their behavior and in each one one perceives, sometimes grotesque, sometimes dramatic, the divergence between perception subjective expression of values ​​and actions and their effective role within the capitalist context”. As for the view of the working class, there is an evident distortion in the reading that the author of the article makes of the words of engineer Montelli, attributing them to the author and not to the character:

“Each one has to stay in their place. The police repressing and the judges condemning, the press convincing people to think as we want, all deep down are fulfilling their own duty. It is the workers who do not accept the game. They don't work enough, they don't care, they always want money. We have not been able to increase production, this is the real problem. What importance can the innocence or guilt of a Mario Boni have in the face of all this?”

Most critics at the time did not always appreciate the final result of the film. In Alberto Moravia’s opinion, the filmmaker started from a ready-made scheme and “applied it to the reality of journalism”, and this resulted in schematic results, “from that one-dimensional and dispatched schematism of the pamphlet, […] the more properly political parts” of the work. Like the Roman writer, Micciché also deplored the “hurried and insecure approach” to a theme, which, if well explored, would have managed to involve the public in his deconstruction “of the myth of the 'free and independent' press in a society like the Italian one” . According to him, there were gains in the film, when it worked concretely on facts that had just happened. On the other hand, the attitudes of some characters – who would have left the plane of the real to enter the grotesque, to the point of being abstract (the editor-in-chief, the owner of the newspaper) – unbalanced a film whose “general ideological scheme” was “ correct and relevant” – making it didactic.

Bernardi pointed at The monster on the front page a duplicity that did not work in his favor: “the structure of the police officer is progressively attenuated, cut by the interference of the characters and by a change of perspective, which is why the interest of the film is no longer the clue that leads to the murderer, but the production technique of the killer […] in the press”.

The investigation does not have a single version, but a double one: the first, by the police, which is resolved with a visit by the police chief with the beadle at a car repair shop; and a second, that of Roveda, who proceeds alone. The split – first and second truths, apparent culprit and true culprit – is still part of the policeman’s conventions, but it departs from him when the two stories, instead of intersecting and resolving each other, continue on their own. , each with their culprit. What should have been the final sequence – the confrontation with the murderer – is also duplicated: first Roveda goes to the beadle's house and discovers him; then Bizanti, the chief, informed by the journalist, goes to make sure of the truth and, at the same time, keep it hidden. The culprit, therefore, is only a pawn. In the final sequence, we see the real players. Byzanti and the Boss.

This double ending is complicated by the fact that there is no solid link between the two stories, but the more powerful one 'fires' the other, just as the director fires the journalist. In this way, the thriller politician replaces the other policeman, but without dismantling their codes, just changing them a little for their purposes. The link should perhaps be the documentary clippings, which, however, are very separate from both stories: the beginning from Feltrinelli's burial – as the beginning from a suicide that could very well have been a crime – is emblematic to set in motion an itinerary that discovers the truth beneath the fiction”.

The schematism highlighted by Moravia was admitted, in several interviews, by Bellocchio himself, who also agreed with Micciché's criticism of an over-the-top realism in the fictional part of his work. As for Bernardi's comments, there are several issues to be discussed.

It is evident, from the opening shots, that what matters in The monster on the front page is the manipulation of information for electoral purposes. After all, the aim of the editor-in-chief has always been not to point out anyone to blame for the girl's death, but an extreme leftist culprit, in his servile maneuver to prevent attention from turning to the newspaper owner's shady business . As noted by Bruno Di Marino, this idea was not new, since already in Investigation of a citizen above suspicion (Investigation on a citizen above reproach, 1969) the policeman who murders his lover, “in order to divert investigations into his person, […] constructed a culprit: that is, the extreme left-wing student Pace”. And Bellocchio, although he did not appreciate the so-called Italian political cinema, as has been said, recognized the importance of this work by Petri.

In the film, there are not two stories that run parallel, but a subordinate plot to the other, since the use of the girl's murder is only the central element to demonstrate Byzanti's procedures. Plot and subplot are intrinsically linked all the time and, in the end, it will be based on the momentary or permanent silence imposed by Byzanti on the beadle that the activist will remain imprisoned. In this sense, more than being duplicated, the discovery of the murderer is unfolded, because, more than the revelation of the truth itself, what matters to show is the concealment of what really happened, so that the “truth” of The newspaper impose yourself. And so, the real monster reveals itself: he is not the presumed criminal, whose identity was trumpeted by the press; Nor is he, for all his pathological passion for the girl, the voyeur assassin; it is Bizanti, whose face stands out on the posters. As for the operators of this game, they are present from the beginning of the film and throughout it, the audience does not discover them in the final sequence (in fact, it is the second to last).

The documentary excerpts (of which Feltrinelli's burial is not the first, but the last) are not detached from the rest of the plot, since it is the outcome of the elections that is at stake and the escalation of violence matters to secure power. from the right.

Seen today, when the echo of the 1960s and 1970s is fading from collective memory, The monster on the front page it turns out to be an instigating work, despite all the criticisms leveled at it, even by the director himself. Instigating mainly for its initial five minutes in which the Milan of the pre-election period is the protagonist. The metropolis is taken by demonstrations against and in favor of the left,[10] by violent clashes between the forces of order and extremist militants,[11] by party propaganda banners.[12] If the rallies attract crowds to the streets, the funeral of the editor Giangiacomo Feltrinelli also fills the cemetery with comrades who say goodbye to him with clenched fists, chanting red flag.[13] The city looks like a powder keg about to explode, like the rest of Italy, which is experiencing the so-called strategy of tension,[14] when the national scene was manipulated by power to maintain the status quo.

These documentary images – consisting, as already seen, of archival material (note 11) and sequences shot by the film’s crew (relative to notes 10, 12 and 13)[15] – introduce the viewer, suddenly, into the climate of those days and if, perhaps, they were expendable when the work was filmed, when seen or reviewed today they become precious. As Brunetta pointed out, clarifying her first comment on this work by Bellocchio: “The monster on the front page, with protest marches, police repression, urban guerrilla warfare, Slogans, the faces of students covered by balaclavas, the procession for the death of the editor Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, the still burning memories of the Massacre in Fontana Square in 1969, the death of the anarchist Giuseppe Pinelli[16], and the almost imperceptible transition to fictional images[17], […] is one of the few fictional documents of the time with a great charge, capable of returning its ideological temperature and its degree of social tension”.

Done in the heat of the moment, The monster on the front page proves to be instigating due to the History that insinuates itself between the lines[18] and even more disturbing due to the incorporation of real events, which lends it a documental tone and makes it a testimony of that troubled time, leading the modern spectator to reflect on this moment that was so crucial for Italian society.

*Mariarosaria Fabris is a retired professor at the Department of Modern Letters at FFLCH-USP. Author, among other books, of Italian cinematographic neo-realism: a reading (Edusp).

Revised version of “Those few minutes when history entered fiction”, published in Proceedings of the IV National Seminar Cinema in Perspective and VIII Academic Film Week (Curitiba: Unespar, 2016, p. 352-364), volume edited by Agnes CS Vilseki et al.

 

Reference


The Monster on the First Page (Sbatti il ​​mostro in prima pagina)
Italy, 1972, 93 minutes
Directed by: Marco Bellocchio
Cast: Gian Maria Volontè, Laura Betti, Fabio Garriba, Jacques Herlin
Available in full (with subtitles) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWiN0QHM5IM

 

REFERENCES


[Artist of lotta continues] “Sbatti Bellocchio in sesta pagina”. In: CASA, Steve Della; MANERA, Paolo (org.). Sbatti Bellocchio in this page: the cinema that created the sinister extraparlamentar 1968-76. Rome: Donzelli Editore, 2012, p. 9-10.

BERNARDI, Sandro. "Anthology". In: MARINO, Bruno Di (org.). Slam the monster on the front page. Rome: Gianluca and Stefano Curti Editori, 2011, p. 13-14 [DVD insert].

BERNARDI, Sandro. “L'autore sul film”. In: MARINO (org.), op. cit., p. 10.

BETTINI, Goffredo; MIELE, Elena. “Cinema come apologia della class al potere”. Cinema New, Florence, 206th year, n. 1970, Jul.-Aug. 279, p. XNUMX.

BRUNETTA, Gian Piero. Cent'anni di Italian cinema. Rome-Bari: Laterza, 1991, p. 516-517.

FABRIS, Annateresa. "Aldo Moro's polaroids". In: KUSHNIR, Beatriz et al. (org). Annals of the XVI Regional Meeting of History of ANPUH-Rio: knowledge and practices. Rio de Janeiro: ANPUH-RIO, 2014 [electronic resource].

MARINO, Bruno Di. “Interview with Marco Bellocchio”. In: BELLOCCHIO, Marco. Slam the monster on the front page. Rome: Gianluca and Stefano Curti Editori, 2011[DVD extra].

MARINO, Bruno Di. “Presentation: Slam the monster on the front page. A prophetic film su stampa e potere”. In: MARINO(org.), op. cit., p. 3-5.

MICCICHE, Lino. “Slam the monster on the front page by Marco Bellocchio”. In: ___. Cinema Italian degli anni '70: cronache 1969-1979. Venice: Marsilio, 1989, p. 138-140.

MORAVIA, Alberto. “Il direttore a caccia di mostri”. In: ___. Italian cinema: recensioni and interventi 1933-1990. Milan: Bompiani, 2010, p. 904.

SCANDOLARA, Sandro. "Anthology". In: MARINO (org.), op. cit., p. 12.

 

Notes


[1] Donati was already appreciated as a screenwriter, especially thanks to his collaboration with Sergio Leone on Per qualche dollaro in più (For a few dollars more, 1965) e the good, the bad and the ugly (three men in conflict, 1965), which was not credited, and in Once Upon a Time in the West (Once upon a Time in the West, 1968) e down the head (When Revenge Explodes, 1971). novelist, professor of Scuola di scripttura Omero (specializing in narrative, cinematographic and journalistic writing), he was the author of television series, in addition to having written scripts for various film genres, in Italy and in Hollywood.

[2] The girl's death would refer to the case of Milena Sutter, a thirteen-year-old student, kidnapped and murdered on May 6, 1971, by a twenty-five-year-old boy, like her, from Genoa's high society. Lorenzo Bozano was considered by his father to be a psychopath, with a strong sexual drive. Her luxurious red sports car was seen several times around Milena's school in the months leading up to the murder. In the film, there is also a car: the popular yellow car with which the young extra-parliamentary man picks up the student when she leaves classes.

[3] In the character of Bizanti, many saw the figure of the editorialist Indro Montanelli, staunch anti-communist, at the time, however, already dissatisfied with the turn to the left imposed by the new owner and by the new director of the Corriere della Sera. According to Lino Micciché, if the “type of reader”, the “hierarchical rituals” and the editorial line of the newspaper, referred to the Corriere della Sera, the political attitudes of The newspaper would point more to journals Il Tempo, from Rome, and La Notte, from Milan. In 1974, coincidentally Montanelli founded The newspaper (the first issue was released on June 25), in which he aligned himself with an ideal right wing, which should be the spokesman for the wishes of what he considered the productive forces of Italian society: the petty and middle bourgeoisie. On June 2, 1977, the journalist was shot in the legs by the Red Brigades. In an interview, Bellocchio says he does not know who Volonté would have been inspired to compose the character and Bruno Di Marino sees no similarity between the cold and lucidly cynical type of Bizanti and the explosive, passionate and courageously combative character of Montanelli.

[4] Engineer Montelli, always named by his academic title, would be a reference to Gianni (Giovanni) Agnelli, known as the lawyer, although he had never practiced law. For Micciché, this character would refer to Attilio Monti, owner of SAROM (Sociedade Anônima de Refining Mineral Oils) and five periodicals, whose financial success was facilitated by official bodies. The devastating effect of SAROM on the industrial zone of Ravenna (Emilia-Romagna) was highlighted by Michelangelo Antonioni in Deserto rosso (red desert.

[5] In the closing credits, there is a thank you for the collaboration of paese sera quality Unity, the other organ of the Italian Communist Party. the manifesto – founded by radical members of the PCI, expelled from the party at the end of the same year, for criticizing the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union – began to be published in June 1969. Its members ended up organizing themselves into a political party, participating in the elections of 1972. lotta continues it was the newspaper of the eponymous movement, made up of revolutionary groups of the extra-parliamentary left. The Luta Contínua group emerged in the second half of 1969, from the split of the Workers-Students Movement of Turin, which, in the first half of that same year, had articulated the struggles at the university and at FIAT.

[6] Due to the lack of scruples with which he obtained or fabricated the news, Lauri seems to refer to Giorgio Zicari, a police reporter for the Corriere della Sera, famous for his ability to get scoops: in fact, he was the first to report, in the extraordinary edition of the Corriere d'Informazione (evening publication of the Milanese newspaper), that the taxi driver Cornelio Rolandi had recognized Pietro Valpreda, as the passenger he had left in Piazza Fontana on the day of the bank explosion (see note 14). For an article writer lotta continues, Zicari would have inspired the composition of Bizanti.

[7] The teacher's character would have been inspired by Rosemma Zublena, a witness with a weak personality, easily influenced, whose statements against a group of anarchists were signed not by her, but by the delegate Luigi Calabresi (July 11, 1969).

[8] The arbitrary arrest of Boni and his companions is reminiscent of that of the anarchists accused of the massacre at Praça Fontana.

[9] Although anonymous, the review published in lotta continues (Nov. 1, 1972) may have been authored by journalist and activist Adriano Sofri, leader of the group Luta Contínua.

[10] The opening minutes of the film record a rally of the Silent Majority (a movement that emerged in 1971, which brought together several anti-communist parties), during which Ignazio La Russa, exponent of the Youth Front, the youth wing of the MSI (Italian Social Movement), direct heir, speaks of Fascism. According to Bruno Di Marino, La Russa's disturbing face resembled that of Rasputin.

[11] Archival material, in black and white and in color, on serious disturbances in Milan on March 11, 1972.

[12] The camera advances along Dante Street, occupied by the banners of the various political organizations that were contesting the elections for the Chamber of Deputies and for the Senate: Italian Socialist Party, Liberal Party, Italian Communist Party, Italian Social Movement, Christian Democracy, which will confirm its leadership in the Italian political landscape.

[13] Ex-supporter and founder of the Feltrinelli publishing house, was expelled from the Italian Communist Party for having launched, in 1957, the first world edition of the novel Doctor Zhivago, by Boris Pasternak. In the 1960s, while traveling in Latin America, he came into contact with Régis Debray and, earlier, with Fidel Castro, who entrusted him with Che's Diary in Bolivia, which Feltrinelli will publish, as well as the famous photo of the guerrilla fighter taken by Alberto Korda. At the end of that same decade, he went underground and, in 1970, founded one of the first armed groups of the left in Italy, the GAP (Groups of Action Partisan). Feltrinelli's body was found torn to pieces by the explosion of a trotile charge, on March 14, 1974, at the foot of a high-voltage tower in the outskirts of Milan. Political homicide carried out by the CIA or an incident during a sabotage action (causing a blackout in the city to harm the PCI congress), as members of the Red Brigades claimed seven years later?

[14]The expression tension strategy has been translated from English – strategy of tension –, having been employed by Leslie Finer in an article published by the weekly The Observer, on the 7th of December, 1969. Basing himself on documents from the British secret intelligence service, the journalist was referring to a political-military strategy of the United States.United States, which, with the support of Greek colonels, aimed to favor the preservation or establishment of reactionary policies in the Mediterranean basin. By means of terrorist acts, which would frighten the population, it was intended to create a climate of violence and confrontation, with the objective of justifying an authoritarian intervention, which would make it possible to contain the advance of the PCI (and the PSI, including) in the elections and the achievements of the social struggles of 1968-1969. The chronological landmarks of the tension strategy are December 12, 1969 and August 2, 1980, although the dating can be made more flexible. Seventeen dead and eighty-eight wounded was the balance left by the explosion of a bomb in the National Bank of Agriculture, located in Piazza Fontana, in the heart of Milan, on the first date; while, for the same reason, eighty-five people died and more than two hundred were injured in the hall of Bologna railway station, on Monday. Between the two events, new attacks on a large and small scale and other incidents. Despite being perpetrated by reactionary forces, many acts were initially blamed on members of the extreme left. The attack in Milan was attributed to anarchists, with Pietro Valpreda as the perpetrator; also accused of the same crime, on the night of December 15, 1969, after three days of interrogation, Giuseppe Pinelli “involuntarily fell” from a window in the office of police chief Luigi Calabresi. The fall was probably staged to cover up that the railroad worker would have died when being interrogated with extreme violence. The last person to see the anarchist alive was Pasquale Valitutti, arrested in the adjoining room, who contested the hypothesis of suicide and Calabresi's absence at the fatal hour. Valitutti “lived for a period in an anarchist community near Curitiba”, as Annateresa Fabris pointed out. “Executed by the extra-parliamentary left, who held him responsible for Pinelli's death, and considered the symbol of an obscure State, involved in plots and committed to defending its own immutability”, Calabresi, in turn, will be assassinated on May 17, 1972 , probably due to “a 'settlement of scores' within the police apparatus, creator of the 'anarchist track'”. The accusations – raised by Leonardo Marino, in 1988, during his award-winning denunciation – that the group Luta Contínua was involved in the event were not proven. The level of confrontation was rising, as well as the reciprocal exchange of accusations between right and left, and, mainly, between the most radical representatives of both sides.

[15]There is also a small documentary excerpt, right after the press conference and the moment in which Lauri is on the lookout in front of the headquarters of Luta Contínua, when a demonstration is registered near the walls of the prison of St. Victor, whose participants chant slogans such as “Bosses in, comrades out”, “Incarcerated comrades, you will be freed” and “The only justice is proletarian”. The sequence that closes the film is not fictional either: they are the first moments in which the waters circulate again in a ship, one of the canals that cross the Lombard metropolis. Garbage being carried away by the water appears as a metaphor for the scum (Bizanti and company) from which society would need to free itself.

[16] The episode at Praça Fontana was approached by theater and cinema: the playwright Dario Fo recorded Pinelli's fatal fall in Accidental death of an anarchist (Accidental death of an anarchist, 1970), still in the heat of the moment, while filmmaker Marco Tullio Giordana sketched an encouraging portrait of Calabresi in Novel of a massacre (Romance of a Massacre, 2012). Outside the commercial cinematographic circuit, the documentary 12th December, made by the group Luta Contínua between 1970 and 1972, which, although signed by Giovanni Bonfanti, had sequences shot by Pier Paolo Pasolini.

[17]It is the sequence of the attack, with Molotov bombs, the The newspaper, reference to the attack against The Corriere della Sera, on the fateful day of March 11, 1972.

[18] In addition to the bustling authentic scenography offered by the city during the filming and the probable references to real characters, the sets, at the service of the different ideologies focused, also contribute to the period atmosphere: Mario Boni's car, with the red dragon in the safe and photo of Mao Tse-tung on the panel; the poster of Ernesto Che Guevara in the office of Rita Zigaina's apartment; the poster in Maria Grazia Martini's room, with one of the slogans of the May 1968 movement: “It is forbidden to forbid” (“It is forbidden to forbid”); the poster in the newspaper's office, with two police officers armed with truncheons and the words “Violence is [fighted] with democracy”; the setting of the Continuous Struggle apparatus; the typical decor of the haute bourgeoisie of the residences of Byzanti and engineer Montelli.

See this link for all articles

10 MOST READ IN THE LAST 7 DAYS

______________

AUTHORS

TOPICS

NEW PUBLICATIONS