Retrospective Cecilia Mangini
Cecilia Mangini is one of the most important Italian directors, a pioneer in post-World War II documentary film. She was born in 1927 in the South of Italy, to which she turns her gaze several times throughout her career. With a body of work that encompasses seven decades, Mangini keeps a committed, attentive and intimate perspective of both the individual and society. Her films explore pressing matters such as the status of women, the roots of Fascism, immigration and social injustice. Mangini passed away early this year, but the beauty and strength of her work lives on in her films and in the works she created in collaboration with other artists such as Lino Del Fra and Pier Paolo Pasolini. The story of a life dedicated to perceive cinema as a tool of resistance.
The retrospective counts with the presence of filmmakers Mariangela Barbanente and Paolo Pisanelli. The programme includes the International Premiere of the posthumous film by Mangini, co-directed with Pisanelli, The World in Shots.
Mangini, Del Fra and Mingozzi, drawing inspiration from ethnologist Ernesto de Martino’s research, filmed the traditional practices and magical rituals still withstanding in Southern Italy. They challenged the ethnographic documentary genre, exploring its aesthetic and political boundaries. In Divine Love, Mangini describes a religious worship at the centre of Italy accompanied by the avant-garde music of Egisto Macchi.
In the 1960s, Italy underwent deep economic, political and social turmoil. Industrialisation, the ‘economic boom’ and mass consumption also result in internal migrations. Along with the struggle of the growing working class, one starts to question family structures and gender roles. Mangini and Del Fra watch the public and the intimate movements up close.
Different views of Italy throughout history: a moving, changing territory. From the Risorgimento, the unification process of the 19th century, to Trieste after being liberated from the fascist regime. A portrait of Florence in the words of the neo-realist writer Vasco Pratolini and a new highway that will cross the island of Sardinia from top to bottom. Social, political and economic turmoil and revolutions.
In Italy, in the 1960s, there was a rapid industrial development known as il boom economico. Thousands of people tried to catch the wave of this miracle and escape a life of misery and famine. Fata Morgana was the train arriving in Milan from the South of Italy full of migrants looking for work. With Domani vincerò, Mangini comes closer to the migrants’ experience and analyses how boxing became a chance for social liberation for young men.
Mangini explores the connection between sport and community building. In Dalla ciliegia al lambrusco, we learn about the “popular walk of Vignola”, a non-competitive race that challenges the rhetoric of competition. In
The Chant of Tiber’s Branches e The City’s Unknown (o primeiro filme de Mangini) utilizam as palavras de Pier Paolo Pasolini como guias para a explosão de energia e revolta da juventude que habita as periferias de Roma. Vinte anos depois de Comizi d’amore, de Pasolini, Cecilia Mangini e Lino Del Fra voltam a investigar o que os italianos pensam sobre sexo, família e género. Primeiro episódio, sobre a relação dos jovens com estes temas.
In Happy Christmas, Cecilia Mangini denounces the false mythology of mass-market goods and fashion articles consumption with irony and tremendous foresight. It is followed by the second episode of the series inspired by Pasolini’s Comizi d’amore. This time, Italian people are confronted with though questions about sex before marriage, extramarital affairs and homosexuality.
A child from the Roman suburbs has been labelled a misfit by his parents and his school. Through this story, Mangini puts forward a reflexion on conformism and the oppression of authority. Next, we have the last episode of Comizi d’amore ‘80, which investigates what Italians think about sex and gender. Now, the questions are about modesty and marriage.