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Moretti ruffles rights again

ROME — Maverick Italian auteur and staunch leftist Nanni Moretti has once again ruffled the feathers of the country’s right-wing political flank.

The cause of the indignation this time is Moretti’s upcoming feature “Aprile,” which recounts, among other events, the sweeping victory of the left-wing Olive Tree coalition last year in Italy’s national elections.

The opposition, led by the neofascist National Alliance, has attacked Italo pubcaster RAI for participating in the film’s funding via the acquisition of broadcasting rights, which covers about 30% of the $3.2 million budget. Pro-testers are objecting to the use of public money to finance a film that celebrates the victory of a political faction.

Given that all of Moretti’s films have voiced leftist viewpoints and all have been aired on RAI, the gripe appears merely to be another attempt by the right to discredit the pubcaster’s management. Moretti traditionally has refused to have his films shown on commercial networks where they are interrupted by ad breaks.

Following the international hit “Caro Diario,” Moretti’s new feature continues in his trademark idiosyncratic, autobiographical vein, taking a personal view of events that took place in April 1996. Chief among them, along with the swing in government, was the birth of the director’s first child.

Filming has been taking place on and off for the past several months. The major part of the shoot will begin in April, but given Moretti’s customary meticulousness in both lensing and post-production stages, completion date is anticipated to be at the end of the year. “Aprile” is an Italo-French co-production from Moretti and Angelo Barba-gallo’s Sacher Film and Gallic major Bac Film.

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