“For many, it will be just a film; for me, it’s three years of life.” That’s how Beppe Fiorello broke the ice. At Istituto Marangoni Milano, the Sicilian actor presented Stranizza d’amuri, a film where he took on the role of filmmaker for the first time.
Stranizza D'Amuri movie poster
An exclusive talk, the conversation was organised a few days before the film’s cinema release and joined by Silvio Campara, CEO of Golden Goose as its associate producer. It was a unique opportunity for IM students, who had the privilege of hearing the story behind the film directly from its creator and premiering the long trailer extension.
Beppe Fiorello and Silvio Campara discussing the film Stranizza D'Amuri in an exclusive talk with IM students at the San Babila school
A delicate story, Beppe Fiorello’s Stranizza d’amuri was inspired by a tragic event in Sicily in 1980: The Giarre murder. A murder-fake suicide committed in Giarre was the wake-up call for a sexual discrimination plague and one of the birthstones of the Italian homosexual movement, giving rise to the first Arcigay club in Italy.
First-time filmmaker Beppe Fiorello with actor Samuele Segreto on set of Stranizza d'amuri
On October 31, 1980, 25-year-old Giorgio and 15-year-old Antonio, who had been missing for two weeks, were found dead, hand in hand, both killed by a gunshot. Called ‘i ziti,’ the two young men had long been persecuted and stigmatised for their relationship.
While Giarre people put up a wall of silence, the case was dismissed as suicide. “A note was found beside their bodies, reading: ‘We are leaving this world because we can no longer bear these injustices, these abuses’. The crime scene clearly indicated it was not a suicide,” stated Beppe Fiorello. While the double murder went unpunished, many people have never forgotten what went down.
Actors Samuele Segreto and Gabriele Pizzurro in a scene from the film Stanizza d'amuri
“I was very impressed when I read an article about this crime. And, as a Sicilian, I also felt somehow guilty, co-responsible for that mentality that led to the cover-up of this story,” Fiorello stated in an interview with the Italian press. “The film came about not because I wanted to be a filmmaker but precisely to tell this story, which I reworked. I was not interested in making a film of denunciation. I hope this film comes out as an ode to life and freedom.”
Silvio Campara and Giuseppe 'Beppe' Fiorello during the film premiere at the Oden cinema in Milan
In memory of Giorgio and Antonio, there are now Gianni and Nino, the protagonists of Fiorello’s film set in 1982, in sun-kissed Sicily, where excitement about the Italian national team at the World Cup was at fever pitch. In the plot, the two boys collide with their scooters on a country road. The encounter leads to a deep friendship, yet also something more – some feeling frowned upon by their families and local peers. Courageous enough and hungry for life, Gianni and Nino don’t care about prejudice and rumours and live freely. They experience a sense of freedom that people still fail to understand and, above all, accept.
Stranizza d’amuri is not only the title of Beppe Fiorello’s film but also a song by Franco Battiato about a love story amid war, love that does not die despite the horror surrounding it and stays pure and strong. “Battiato wrote the soundtrack of my teen years, and I am extremely pleased that some of his music is in my first film as a filmmaker and gives it its title,” Fiorello declared. “I’m very proud that the last voice you hear in the film is the one of this great maestro, with his song Stranizza d’amuri.”
Students during the exclusive talk on the new film Stranizza D'Amuri at Istituto Marangoni Milano
As Eleonora Pratelli and Riccardo Di Pasquale produced the film for Iblafilm, Fenix Entertainment with Rai Cinema in association with Silvio Campara and Golden Goose, Istituto Marangoni Milano students had the opportunity to meet Campara himself. “We are a collective, a community,” said Golden Goose’s CEO describing the Italian company, which has been leading the trainers and urban fashion industry for over two decades. “In these times, we don’t need managers; we need visionaries.” While listening to the new generation, the company empowers young people. And while confirming their visionary approach, they also support visionary talent.
Beppe Fiorello and Golden Goose CEO Silvio Campara met through mutual friends, which is how their collaboration started. Campara showed a great passion for Fiorello’s homeland and saw an authentic, non-stereotypical Sicilian soul in him. Fiorello told him about his project, and Campara just fell in love with it: a union that speaks of something real and two hearts beating to the same rhythm for the same goal. “I want to think that this film can give life back to those two young men, at least a bit,” Fiorello concluded.
Giuseppe 'Beppe' Fiorello and Silvio Campara with Anna Rogg (Career Service, Alumni & Industry Relationship Senior Manager) at Istituto Marangoni Milano