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Besides a masterclass on documentaries and the archives to be held by Roberto Cicutto (President of Istituto Luce Cinecittà) and Roland Sejko (Director of Luce’s Historical Archive), Luce Cinecittà will attend the Biografilm Festival (Bologna, June 14-21) with three films: In the Name of Antea by Massimo Martella, The Last Italian Cowboys by Walter Bencini, and Il toro del Pallonetto by Luigi Barletta.

In the Name of Antea recounts how two famous portraits, along with many other masterpieces of Italian painting, survived the Second World War. General Clark stated that making war in Italy was like fighting in a “damned museum.” The rescue was carried out by a handful of young Italian officers, whose names stayed off the grid until recently. Firstly, they protected the works of art from the bombing by hiding them in safe places, far from the cities where the war was raging on. Then, after the armistice, risking their own lives, these men tried to shelter the paintings away from the frontline and possible raids.

The Last Italian Cowboys by Walter Bencini tells the stories of a group of men fighting for a sustainable future. Alberese, in the Tuscan Maremma, is home to the last three remaining butteri, the last Italian cowboys, heroic men who still rear cattle in the wild. Two young men have joined the group to learn this traditional craft, a tough job that few can do. Only one of them will make it. The future of this ancient world will lie in his hands. The film takes us into the daily life of these men and their strong sense of the land. In the words of the director: “Within the current unprecedented economic crisis, the industrial system of meat production failed totally, and the popularity of radical animalist movements is rising constantly. Promoting alternative models of food production becomes fundamental, and the butteri community is an example of this.”

Il toro del Pallonetto by Luigi Barletta tells the human and sporting parable of an imaginary boxer, Joe Esposito, used as a pretext to revisit the most important historical events of the twentieth century in Naples: the fascist era, the Liberation, the migration to America, the Soviet invasion of Hungary, and the Irpinia earthquake of 1980. According to the director, “the idea was to create the story of perfectly believable character through the blending of archival materials, interviews with well-known people, off-screen comments and fictional sequences. That’s the key we used to handle historical events and social issues with emotional involvement and ironic tone.” Archival materials from the Luce Archive played a significant role in the production of the film.

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