Red Brigade films stir Italy

Leftist guerillas are still a hot topic

ROME — Italy seemed caught in a time warp last week with the Red Brigades wreaking havoc again, three decades after the country’s so-called “years of lead.”

Italo president Giorgio Napolitano attended a Rome preem of biopic “Guido Who Fought the Red Brigades” just days after supporters of an offshoot of the surprisingly still-kicking leftist guerrillas — who ran rampant in the ’70s — staged a march against measures that would make their jail sentences more stringent.

“Guido,” helmed by contempo Italo history specialist Giuseppe Ferrara (“The Bankers of God”), is about a Genoa steel mill worker and union leader assassinated in 1979 by the Red Brigades because he didn’t toe their line.

Ferrara laments state broadcaster RAI has largely ignored the antiterrorism pic, which stars local A-list thesp Massimo Ghini as Guido. RAI has rejected a release via its 01 Distribuzione arm, limiting itself to picking up TV rights.

Pic is co-financed by Italy’s largest labor union, CGIL, and by the ILVA steel giant.

“There is an underlying pro-Red Brigades streak still in place,” the exasperated helmer stated provocatively. “How else can you explain that these days you have convicted Red Brigades members publishing books and plugging them on the TV talkshow circuit?”

One case in point is brigades guerilla Adriana Faranda, who was a member of the operation that kidnapped and murdered Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro in 1978.

Back on the street after a 15-year stint behind bars, Faranda has penned a book titled “Il volo della farfalla” (“The Butterfly’s Flight”) published last year by Rizzoli with a cover photo of Faranda in glam shades.

Though Faranda did not promote the book on RAI, she did plug it on national web La 7 and on a slew of radio stations.

Ferrara availed himself of Red Brigades co-founder Alberto Franceschini, also a published author and no longer incarcerated, as a script consultant.

While in past years there has been no shortage of Italo pics about the Red Brigades — most notably Marco Tullio Giordana’s “Best of Youth” and Marco Bellocchio’s “Good Morning, Night,” about Moro’s abduction — the theme is still hot, despite “Guido” getting a RAI snubbing.

RAI rival Mediaset is in production on a big-budget telepic in which Faranda, who opposed killing the prime minister, will be played by starlet Claudia Pandolfi, in what is surely the most populist Red Brigades project to date.

And Domenico Procacci is developing a feature based on a novel by Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni titled “La scoperta dell’alba” (The Dawn Discovery) about a fiftysomething man who picks up a phone and time-travels back to the “years of lead.”

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