The film premieres next Thursday Credit: Gentileza Soledad
It was the year 2015 and
It was in full shooting in Munich, Germany. It was cold, very cold, but it was not an excuse to interrupt the recordings
of Snowden, the film by Oliver Stone, of which the eldest daughter of the president of Argentina participated. It was there that moment when he understood that the function should always continue: neither the snow nor the frozen fingers would interrupt the work. Something that would help her years later when a group of anarchist squatters boycotted the recording of
his debut feature, Soledad,
in Turin, Italy.
Martin Caparrós's book fell into the hands of Agustina as a loan from a friend while she was working in Germany. He read it in a few days. According to account, the first pages of
Love and Anarchy – the fictionalized biography about the life of María Soledad Rosas – read them right away. "I read more than two hundred pages in tiny print, underlined with black pencil, I circulated things, double vertexes of leaves even if I do not like it," he tells LA NACION. And in that same moment he began to write the script. The first version had 130 pages, which in filmic times would be equivalent to a 130-minute film, more than two hours. It was so Agustina began to walk the road, reading, rereading and looking for ways to bring that story to the big screen. Other people had also wanted to translate the life of Soledad Rosas to the seventh art, 20 years after his death, but nobody had managed to make it happen.
María Soledad Rosas can be an unknown character today. He did not live much:
At age 24, she was hanged on a farm outside of Turin in July 1998. It was Martín Caparrós, who became interested in his story after learning of his death. He spent two weeks with an Italian squatter group and met several times with Sole's parents and sister. As a result of that investigation, he published
Love and Anarchy in 2003. According to the same journalist, his work is less "ironic and cancherous", since after learning the story, Soledad generated a lot of respect for him. She was a graduate in Tourism, who lived in Barrio Norte with her parents but was not happy. He walked dogs, lived listening to music and had a boyfriend who was not accepted by his family. In that context, he was given a ticket to Italy, where he went with a friend a little bit older than her. By chance, he ended up in a squatter house, El Asilo, where he met a group of people who lived as she dreamed of living: in freedom and outside the system. Little by little, Sole found a group in them and discovered her anarchist side. Months later he met Edoardo Massari, the love of his life, with whom he moved to a house taken in Collegno.
Those months must have been the happiest of your life. Edo, as he was told, was 34 years old and with him he finished cementing his ideals. But that love was short lived: two months. The Italian secret police, Digos, put them both in prison and Silvano Pelissero, a friend of Edo, for ecoterrorists. They were accused of having committed an attack with dynamite and
Molotovs in the Susa Valley (Piedmont), in protest against the construction of a High Speed Train (TAV), which had been committed by the mysterious Gray Wolves. At the time of that fact, Sole was in Buenos Aires; Edo, prisoner, and Silvano, in Geneva. It was an example for the rest of the anarchists, but what the secret police did not imagine was what happened next: Edo committed suicide in prison and Sole, months later, in the house arrest. She did not want to be separated from her classmates as her parents advised her to be judged in Argentina, she decided to stay and end her life. Thus he became an icon of anarchism in Europe.
Giulio Corso, the Italian who plays Edo, in the middle of filming Credit: Gentileza Think Argentina
"At first I did not really realize who Soledad was: I did not know that behind there was a family carrying a tremendous pain, I did not know or could imagine that this film was going to mobilize so many emotions", says Agustina, who contacted the family when she decided to do the film and she felt well received by the Roses. Also, he met a dog walker friend of Soledad, from whom he learned even more about his life before moving to Italy.
In 2016, Macri had the script ready. He traveled to Buenos Aires and began with the casting. They had been preselected more than 25 actresses, all under one condition: they had to shave themselves or yes, if they did not it was difficult to imagine Soledad.
I had done two very good castings and was a finalist with another actress. Agustina trusted her intuition and was inclined towards the daughter of Luis Alberto Spinetta. As he says, he did not regret it. "I had the right energy for the character, especially in the prison scene with the sister, today at a distance, I feel that it could not have been another person, that Vera is perfect: she was and is Soledad", she says. Also, that Vera studied Italian before traveling, because she did not speak a single word. Something, that ultimately, joined Soledad who came to Italy without knowing the language.
What followed was the trip to Italy, where they worked with a local technical team. The preproduction was in Rome. The Italian writer Paolo Logli helped her review the script and wrote nine versions. "I was very aware of Caparrós' book, but I already felt that I had been incorporating other materials: my experience in Italy, meeting people who were active in those times, archive material, etc.", he explains. He also added elements of
Le scarpe dei suicidi, the Italian version of the events, written by an anarchist. It includes literal transcriptions of the conversations recorded by the Digos at that time.
At the end of 2017, Agustina settled in Turin with the production manager. After a few twists and turns, he decided to change the Italian producer and that delayed the process a bit. Adjusted that, what remained was to finish defining the technical team and the Italian protagonists. "When I finally finished assembling the group of leading anarchists, we started working together, the first meeting lasted almost six hours, a climate of great sincerity was generated, beyond what they wanted to know about me – what kind of film I wanted How did I want to do it, what did I expect from them? There was something that changed the direction of the encounter towards an unexpected and incredible place, "he told LA NACION. What the actors expressed was the fear and burden they felt when representing people who were still alive. Fausto Cabra, who plays Luca Bruno, raised the possibility of changing the name of his character in the film in order to move more freely. Some time later, Luca would be one of the anarchists who would be against going ahead with this movie.
The author of Amor y Anarquía, Martín Caparrós, visited the filming of the film in Italy. Credit: Gentileza Think Argentina
The anarchist "boycott"
Far from being happy with the idea of telling the story of Edo and Sole, the squatters and the anarchists of Turin showed their disagreement with the film. Asilo, the social center where Soledad arrived for the first time, still exists. According to Agustina, it used to be an old kindergarten, which was occupied by the Anarchist Movement in 1994 and so it continues to this day. They self-manage with funds that come out of dinners and open parties that they do every Tuesday. The scenographer of the film, Maurizio Kovacs, militated in the mid-90s in El Asilo. He was the first to meet the negative reactions of his former teammates: when contacting local people to join the team, many refused to participate. Kovacs, before Macri arrived in Turin, talked on the phone with her, told her what was happening and used the word "boycott". Not only did they not want to be part of it, they were filling the city with flyers and graffiti. "SOLE E BALENO VIVONO NELLE LOTTE, BOICOTTA IL FILM" (Sole and Baleno live in the fight, boycott the film), wrote on the walls.
"They hit thousands of pamphlets on the windows of the office, and the production had to call the police: the boycott was just beginning," says Agustina. He also points out that there was no way to resolve the confusion because they did not want to talk.
The film sought to vindicate the characters and, in some way, to denounce how Justice had kept them prisoners without a verifiable crime, but to tell this story, the director had to do it backed by the same police. "Why, if we wanted a film with the intention of vindicating the struggle of Sole and Baleno, their innocence and the authoritarianism of a State blaming them for unfounded terrorists, we had to 'defend'?" Macri asks and adds: "Inside from the paradoxes that were beginning to happen, the production had to appeal to the security forces, even to the Digos – the same secret services force that followed and recorded the conversations of these innocent young people – now they were 'protecting' us from the attack of that same group of anarchists who today claimed to call for the protection and freedom of Sole and Baleno. "
The day after those first brushes, Agustina – who at that point was already feeling persecuted – had to enter the production office through the parking lot. His work team stayed together, but the atmosphere was tense. "The conflict gave us that special, unique strength that these circumstances give you, the ghost of confrontation and knowing that there were people who did not agree with what we were doing, strengthened us," he adds. That hostile environment ended up making them change location. Faced with the threat of a boycott, no matter how small, they could not put filming at risk. "With thirty, twenty or even five people find some means to stop the filming for us was enough," he explains. Is that in the movies it takes little to complicate things.
Soledad Trailer – Source: YouTube
After a week of filming in Turin, where the team endured from calls in radio against the film – something that Agustina reproduced in one of the scenes of
Loneliness- even punctures of truck wheels, pamphlets, firecrackers, drums and trumpets, graffiti and riots, the filming moved. The chosen city was Genoa, a very important place for Agustina, since her grandfather emigrated from that port to Argentina. It was not easy because most of the technicians were from Turin, which increased production costs.
After waiting two weeks for the new locations to be ready, the first cold began. "They had spent two weeks of pause, of pre-production for the locations and set design and we were again facing the work that was missing: 24 net days," he recalls. Filming there was totally different, the only out of the ordinary thing was the amount of police that surrounded them. "It was to leave the set and meet with uniformed police, plainclothes, patrol cars, police trucks, armed agents," he says. The only unfortunate thing that happened was a news item that appeared in the local newspaper that showed the new locations. Alarms reignited for fear that the boycott would be installed in this new city. Luckily, it did not happen. The last stage of recording was in Ovada, a small town between Liguria and Piemonte. The snow returned to Agustina's life as the one that had brought her closer to Soledad Rosas in that winter in Munich. His first film was coming to an end, at least the filming stage. The edition was still missing, but the boycott had remained in the past.