Giulio Andreotti - Il cinema visto da vicino
festivals & awards:
As the war drew to an end, or immediately after it, several Italian filmmakers like Rossellini and De Sica attempted all by themselves to present a new face of Italy in the eyes of the world. When, twenty-five months after the end of the war, Andreotti was placed in charge of the government department of the performing arts, the Italian movie industry was already threatened with extinction. Not just because of the destruction of the war, not just because Italy was the most tempting market in Europe, but because the Americans had had the terrible idea of putting it in the hands of quarrelsome figures of Italian extraction. The ratio between foreign movies and homemade ones was 4 to 1. Andreotti was able to rebuild the industry, hold the Vatican to some extent in check, bring the Festival back to the Venice Lido and make things easier for new producers, as well as defend Anni difficili, the most courageous and original film on the transition from Fascism to post-Fascism. He organized a newsreel for national distribution, mitigated the greed and obtuseness of the operators, fought against a number of ridiculous movies and made it obligatory to show the ones that were made in the country. After leaving the post, in 1953, he got the blame for all the idiocies of his highly incompetent successors. More than sixty years later he is still remembered as the public enemy number one of our cinema. This film shows that it wasn’t like that at all.
When Andreotti talks about Cielo sulla palude, you realize he’s a playwright. When he talks about Umberto D. you realize he’s a screenwriter. When he prefers Rossellini to Visconti you realize he understood the cinema.