28 mai 2024

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IL SIGNORE DELLE FORMICHE by Gianni Amélio: “Homosexuality in Italy in the 60s”

It is a shared love, but their homosexual relationship, although consensual, is not accepted by the family and the justice system.

“Homosexuality in the face of male justice in Italy in the 1960s” at the Villerupt Italian Film Festival through IL SIGNORE DELLE FORMICHE by Gianni Amélio.


A landmark trial that says a lot about Italy at the end of the 1960s. The poet Aldo Braibanti (Luigi Lo Cascio) has an affair with Ettore Tagliaferri (Leonardo Maltese), his student. It is a shared love, but their homosexual relationship, although consensual, is not accepted by Ettore’s family. She decides to sue Aldo Braibanti for abuse of weakness. At the time, the word homosexuality was censored and did not appear in laws or in the press. An absurd trial then begins followed by Ennio Scribani (Elio Germano), journalist for L’Unità, the organ of the PCI. Through his investigations, he attempts to awaken the conscience of an often indifferent public opinion, and to shake up the rules of the newspaper and the narrow moralism of the Communist Party. Inspired by the Braibanti affair, the drama Il signore delle formiche depicts an Italian society which, through bigotry, ignorance or lack of empathy, is divided in the face of the social injustices it faces.

” This is the last time. You don’t have to go there anymore. Those like him were sent to the camps and that was fair. »
“My film aims to be a mirror of current society, but not in the same form. History repeats itself but is never the same. Today we have civil unions – even if someone said we should be content with them – and at the same time we are told about a lady who yesterday called the police because she had seen two people of the same sex kissing. This is where the danger lies. Therein lies our lack of love and empathy. Progress has not been fully achieved. But the worst thing would be not to have faith in the future. With this film, I would like to help any teacher who would like to have the opportunity to come out, without parents running to remove their children from school. » Gianni Amelio, comments collected by Camillo de Marco, Cineuropa, September 8, 2022.

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