The 19th edition of Giornate kicks off with March on Rome by Mark Cousins and the love between two “fallen angels” in Lebanon

The opening film of Giornate 2022 is the work of the Franco-Lebanese director Wissam Charaf, who takes us to Beirut and inside the love story between two “fallen angels” (as Charaf calls them). Dirty Difficult Dangerous, the filmmaker’s second effort and the title kicking off the Giornate competition, is a melodrama (with a vein of comedy) in which two migrants meet in contemporary Beirut and learn that in union there is strength. 

“The Lebanon we read about in the news today,” says Gaia Furrer, artistic director of Giornate, “is a society marked by desperate poverty. Dirty Difficult Dangerous portrays the tragedy of discrimination – practiced by the very migrant communities living in the country – at just the right remove, with lyricism and a light touch. Wissam Charaf succeeds in bringing the irony and tenderness that are the hallmarks of master filmmakers to the great social ills of our day. Opening Giornate with this film sets the tone for the official selection to come, which is a special blend of film genres that captures the many shades of emotion and ultimately spreads urgent messages.”

The other city is Rome, and it’s a whole other story: the one that started exactly a hundred years ago, with the March on Rome, the event that changed the course of Italian history. Walking us through the steps in time on that day in October, 1922, is Mark Cousins, whose montage of invaluable archival material relates the rise of Fascism in Europe to the popularity of right-wing movements today. The film features the participation of Alba Rohrwacher.

March on Rome is an essay film and at the same time a historical document by Mark Cousins, Irish-Scottish director and author who has devoted documentaries to film greats, from Eisenstein to Welles, and has worked in Iraq, in Sarajevo during the siege, and in Iran, Mexico, Asia, America and Europe. Cousins contextualizes history as he observes the contemporary world and shows us a political landscape in which the extreme right enjoys a growing consensus.

Giornate’s first day also includes the presentation of the exhibition L’onda lunga: the extra-ordinary story of an association, curated by ANAC in collaboration with Giornate degli Autori and Isola Edipo. The show looks back on the 70-year history of the National Association of Italian Filmmakers and will be presented during the press conference on Wednesday, August 31st, at 3 pm in the Italian Pavilion – Hotel Excelsior. It will be open from its inauguration on September 1st at 11 am until September 9st, at the Sala Laguna in Via Pietro Buratti 1, on the Venetian Lido.