The flying donkey

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The flying donkey (Storia di Ray (o l'asino che vola))

The flying donkey (Storia di Ray (o l'asino che vola))

original title:

Storia di Ray (o l'asino che vola)

directed by:


Ray Sugar Sandro, Gerry Viviani, Morena Besito









film run:



DCP - colour

release date:


festivals & awards:

  • Terra di Siena Film Festival 2020
  • Varese International Film Festival- Best documentary
  • OIFF - Ostia International Film Festival
  • Festival Internazionale del cinema di Salerno 2020: Special Mention
  • Vesuvius International Film Festival 2020
  • Roma Indipendent Prisma Awards
  • Venice Film Awards 2021
  • New York Movie Awards 2022: Nomination for Best Documentary

“I prefer not to like but to be, than not to be but to like.”
This sentence, that you can hear in one of the early scenes of the movie, contains and specifies the reason why we have decided to “follow” Sandro Micolucci (known as Ray Sugar Sandro) for four years: he is a 51 year old (even though he doesn’t look his age!!!) “famous” showman from Abruzzo. He’s a complete artist: he devoted himself to singing, acting, directing, and he also likes photography, artistic nude, painting and poetry. What was most interesting, besides his joyful ostentation and his vivid indifference, have been the depth and purity of these feelings and virtue: the dreams and the light-heartedness (sometimes childish) of this 51 year old man with a sculptured body piloted the structure of the story from the beginning and they convinced us to tell this story, Ray’s story.
Sugar is surrounded by many friends, some of them also “brilliant” (like the bizarre Gerry) and his father Giovanni and his brother Nicola represented an important part of his life, too. Gerry is an older and bold man (actually his head looks like a knee!) and he has a thick white beard. He has accompanied Ray during his shows for several years and he has usually presented his performances. We can say Gerry is a real “Mangia Fuoco” and this term is not used randomly, in fact it wants to underline that this movie will be characterized by elements that recall fairy tales to the spectators: also our protagonist lives his days with fable terms.
We have followed Ray in his concerts, his trips, his passions and his loves.
Among artistic nude photo shoots in which he reproduced the Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man”, songs, performances in gas stations and love disappointments, he will be able to reach the wished and famous stage of STRAFactor (an important TV show).
His arrival to the goal will coincide with the beginning of a new story: Ray turned into a donkey. The animal will retrace, in a cyclical manner, some of the anecdotes previously documented with our protagonist.
From being teased in a circus to being used as a walking target, Ray the donkey will be freed by a “Strong Woman” (she was part of the circus company), after having suffered a lot of verbal insults and humiliation. With her, the man, “turned into” a donkey, won’t try to return human and to improve his own self: he admits that it’s irrelevant in front of another strong and determined will: living free for Ray, flying for the donkey.