Review: ‘Grazing the Wall’

The grown daughter of an Italian neofascist, who was the first man killed by the Red Brigades terrorist org in the 1970s, goes looking for answers in documentary "Grazing the Wall." Scribe-helmer Silvia Giralucci, who co-directed with Luca Ricciardi, is also the protag, which might explain the lack of critical distance and the makers' difficulty in distinguishing between macro and micro elements. Incomprehensible for anyone without a grounding in the political factions active during the Years of Lead, this pic will only graze on Italo pastures.

The grown daughter of an Italian neofascist, who was the first man killed by the Red Brigades terrorist org in the 1970s, goes looking for answers in documentary “Grazing the Wall.” Scribe-helmer Silvia Giralucci, who co-directed with Luca Ricciardi, is also the protag, which might explain the lack of critical distance and the makers’ difficulty in distinguishing between macro and micro elements. Incomprehensible for anyone without a grounding in the political factions active during the Years of Lead, this pic will only graze on Italo pastures.

Docu starts with homevid footage and a v.o. that explains Giralucci was only 3 when her dad was slain, before segueing into several talking-head segments, though the choice of interviewees (a professor, an agitator, a judge … ) seems more dictated by availability than narrative necessity. But lacking the right, tough questions, the interviewees chat, more than offer any real insights. The helmer’s intriguing statement suggesting that no one cared about her father’s death because he was a fascist is otherwise left unexplored (though salutes at a memorial-plaque presentation imply he’s become a neofascist hero). Apart from the wobbly subtitles, the film’s TV ready.

Grazing the Wall

Documentary -- Italy

Production

A Microcinema release of a Doclab presentation and production. Produced by Marco Visalberghi. Directed by Silvia Giralucci, Luca Ricciardi. Written by Giralucci.

Crew

Camera (color/B&W, HD), Daniele Gastoldi; editor, Enzo Pompeo; music, Stefano Lentini; sound, Marco Zambrano. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (noncompeting), Sept. 1, 2012. Running time: 52 MIN.

Cast

With: Silvia Giralucci, Guido Petter, Raul Franceschini, Antonio Romito, Pietro Calogero, Stefania Paterno. Narrator: Giralucci.
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