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11 May1974
Death Penalty
Arrigo Ubertone
Original Sound

"Six dead, fifteen wounded", so headlined La Stampa on 11 May 1974. The day before, a riot in the Alessandria prison had turned into a massacre. The intervention of the Carabinieri under the command of General Dalla Chiesa helped to trigger it off. Arrigo Ubertone and Luigi Germano, who at that very time were making an amateur film on the death penalty, set off to the Piedmontese town and then to other places in Liguria where they came from to collect street interviews. The question they are asked is: "Do you think the death penalty in Italy can be effective in curbing crimes or not?" The answers of the interviewees in most cases seem disconcerting, although influenced by a climate of collective overexcitement. The death penalty is not taboo; on the contrary, it is perceived as an acceptable 'solution' for some, now inevitable for others. And still others wish for it as just revenge, angrily invoked in front of the camera. And if the right to divorce will be definitively obtained with the referendum that will take place a few days after these interviews, it must be said that conquests and rights are never safe. The danger that the desire for the death penalty will return at any moment - and that its abolition will not be considered a shared conquest 0- remains relevant every day and must be constantly borne in mind. we present a representative excerpt of the interviews collected in the documentary, which in the intentions of the authors, is a historical and sociological essay. Made in 16mm (and 30' long), it bears the title "4 March 1947", the date of the last capital execution in Italy. "An impressive test of the civil immaturity of the average Italian" wrote critic Giulio Cattivelli after the film's presentation at the Montecatini Amateur Film Festival in 1974.