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Special event at this year’s Venice Giornate degli Autori, presented by Istituto Luce-Cinecittà and Fondazione Luigi Micheletti, a surprising and newfound film by Ermanno Olmi, Suicide Attempt in Adolescence (Juvenile T.S.). An unexpected and important discovery made last Spring in the archives of the Fondazione Luigi Micheletti in Brescia by an archivist of the Istituto Luce and a colleague of the Fondazione. Inside four boxes among the over thousand stored in the archive, and simply labelled as T.S., they found an unknown medium-length film by Ermanno Olmi. The stop-action camera revealed the title, and the year, 1968. The card at the beginning of the film presenting the logo of a pharmaceutical multinational called Sandoz, possibly unveils that it was a work on hire on a hot topic in a crucial year for the history of young generations.  

The documentary tells the first pioneering years of a psychiatric emergency ward at the General Hospital in Milan, an experimental facility directed by revered therapist Carlo Lorenzo Cazzullo. The ward was dedicated to people who attempted suicide, and to teenagers in particular. There are interviews, statistics, personal stories. It is a small-size version of Olmi’s classical cinema: the usual cuts, rhythm, empathy, faces, looks. Records show that the film has never been publicly screened and it’s never been included in the filmographies of the director. It looks now like a brand-new film, especially because we can find the kind of cinema that Olmi used to make in the 1960s and 70s, and his unique touch.

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VENEZIA 74

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