On July 24, at Giffoni, the world preview of the animated film that retraces the life of General Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa

The cast, composed of Francesco Pannofino, Domitilla D’Amico, Raffaele Tedesco, and the directors Ciaj Rocchi and Matteo Demonte will attend the event

On July 24, the animated film LE STELLE DI DORA – LE SFIDE DEL GENERALE CARLO ALBERTO DALLA CHIESA will be previewed at #Giffoni53. A very important production that will certainly be appreciated among the several previews offered by the festival. A film of commitment and history, the narrative of a peculiar period for the Italian social and political framework. Giffoni is honoured to be chosen for this significant event.

Over 6,500 jurors coming from 30 countries will meet the cast, composed by Francesco Pannofino, Domitilla D’Amico and Raffaele Tedesco, and the directors Ciaj Rocchi and Matteo Demonte, to discuss about the project that retraces the human and professional steps of a man who has left his mark. A unique occasion, scheduled from 20 to 29 July, dedicated to the whole festival audience, that will be able to live exclusively this great preview with a double screening.

On the fortieth anniversary of the massacre of via Carini in Palermo, the Italian Defence Staff, in collaboration with the Carabinieri General Headquarters and the Mission Structure for anniversaries having national relevance and the participatory dimension of new generations, have created a Graphic Novel, in order to narrate the story of General Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa. The spirit of the editorial work, published by Solferino, is to tell the events and the deeds of General Dalla Chiesa and his collaborators, through a narrative and a graphic method able to reach the younger audience effectively. Young people were, and still are, the main recipients of each activity carried out by General Dalla Chiesa during his long military life.

The graphic novel received unanimous agreement, both in the over 11,300 high schools that received it from the Carabinieri stations of the Territorial Organization and in the most important sector events in the national scene such as the Lucca Comics and Games e the Salone del Libro of Turin. This has led the Italian Defence Staff to expand the spread of the work to a younger audience (10-14 years) through a cross-media product represented by an animated film able to narrate the life of a national hero who crossed contemporary history living it and contributing to it firsthand, in an even more appealing and familiar way to the young audience, with an even more detailed story.

The animated film, that has the same title of the graphic novel, tends to reveal the most personal side of Dalla Chiesa who, although regarded as an “iron General”, was driven by a strong sense of duty and State and was a man of great humanity and affection, moved by the love for his family, in particular for his lucky star, his wife Dora, his soul mate for over 40 years and mother of their three children: Rita, Nando and Simona.

Carlo Alberto dedicated a close correspondence to his wife, that continued even after her death, in the form of a private diary, that shows how Dora’s love was a reserve of strength that needed to be nurtured with attention and passion.

The narration starts from the end, with the last lines between General Dalla Chiesa, now Prefect of Palermo, and his young second wife Emanuela Setti Carraro. The sensation of disaster is widespread and foretells the hail of bullets that immediately kills the couple. Frome there, as in a flashback, begins the ride through his life: who was that Piedmontese, son of a Carabinieri General? Army Officer in Montenegro during the first years of the World War II, where he obtained the transfer to the Carabinieri Corps for special merits, Lieutenant in San Benedetto del Tronto during the first phase of the War of Liberation, Commander of the Repression of Banditism Forces in Corleone (PA) in the early years of the Republic, Captain in service in Rome, Florence, Como, Milan… a career earned on the field, coming back to Sicily, first as Commander of Palermo legion, where he analyses and fights against the mafia phenomenon, and then as Prefect. This was hist last sacrifice, with no uniform and with just one security man, Public Security Officer Domenico Russo, killed in the attack with him, to demonstrate that law is stronger than the mafia and that the State has no fear.

The film’s subject has been written by Major General Alfonso Manzo, Chief of the 5th Department of the Defence Staff, whereas Captain Francesco D’Ottavio has been in charge of the production management. The cast also includes the voices of Francesco Silella, Jacopo Sartori, Chiara Serangeli, Francesco D’Ottavio, Nicola Barraco, Mickey Bosco, Luigi Petrocchi, Leone Demonte, Carlo Galli, Salvo Sallemi.

We had the idea to make an animated film from the very beginning. Even before we published our first book, ‘Primavere e Autunni’, we wanted to turn it into an animated film. We believe in the power of cinema to convey content. After all, they’re called ‘anime’ because they have an ‘anima’ (soul). Our cinematographic education is based on Peter Greenaway’s films, we studied his editing techniques and we have always been autodidact tinkerers; we tried to do ourselves what is generally done in a team – the directors say – We write, draw, animate and sometimes use our own voices. We realize handicrafts using almost exclusively our competences. Graphic novel sums up but doesn’t simplifies. It tells a story through symbols. Giving live to these symbols means giving soul to the story. And with ‘Le stelle di Dora’, voices made the difference: Domitilla D’Amico accompanies us across the entire story with her sweetness, Francesco Pannofino, who interprets Dalla Chiesa, provides the idea of his power – they say – A one-of-a-kind product, realized thanks to the foresight of the 5th Department of the Defence Staff that took a chance on us as artists, a bit for our realistic style, a bit for a sort of special mission to respect the fortieth anniversary of the death of General Carlo Dalla Chiesa”.

Ciaj Rocchi (1976) and Matteo Demonte (1973) are illustrators, video-makers and cartoonists. They published the graphic novels Primavere e Autunni (BeccoGiallo 2015 – Selection Andersen prize) and Chinamen, un secolo di cinesi a Milano (BeccoGiallo 2017 – Selection Gran Guinigi), that is also a documentary with animated drawings, presented at an exhibition at the Mudec of Milan between March and April 2017. Both graphic novels have been translated into Chinese and published by editor Dangdang. In 2021 they published La Macchina Zero, Mario Tchou e il primo computer Olivetti; in 2022, Le stelle di Dora, Le sfide del Generale Dalla Chiesa (both published by Solferino). Since 2015, they are editorial illustrators for La Lettura and Il Corriere della Sera.

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