A Soccer Game That Turned into a Tragedy

by Anna Foschi Ciampolini

Soccer has always been Italy’s most loved spectator sport. The game is everything for a true “tifoso.” It is a matter of pride and national honour. Italians feel an ardent interest, a consuming passion for every aspect of the game. They idolize the players. Diehard fans are ready to start a revolution just in case of a perceived wrong decision by the referee. However, such a strong outpouring of emotions can sometimes lead to very unfortunate events. This is exactly what happened during a soccer game between the rival soccer teams of Supersano and Ruffano, two small towns in the Apulia region in Southern Italy in 1948. The supporters of the losing team got furious and started a brawl that ended in tragedy. It was the first violent riot in the history of Italian soccer, and its whole story has now been told by “La Grande Guerra del Salento/The Great Salento War,” the new film by Marco Pollini featuring a stellar cast of veteran actors like Uccio De Santis, Pino Amendola and younger, up-and-coming performers like Martina Di Fonte and Mandrake. Australian-born and two-times Nastro d’Argento nominee Marco Leonardi brings the prestige and experience gained in his 40-year extensive career by playing a pivotal role.

Pollini, born in Verona in 1973, is multitalented movie director, producer, writer, and editor. Since 1999, he has produced audiovisuals and recorded songs by several international and Italian artists including Carl McDonald and Jo Squillo and has published two books. In 2015, he presented Le Badanti, his first motion picture, at the Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica di Venezia, and at the Cannes Festiva. Two years later, his second film Moda mia participated in the Truffaut’s Children Festival held in Bari, Italy, and was shown at the Catholic Festival di Seoul, Korea, and at “Ambitious Russia.” Pollini directed two other movies, Pop Black Posta, with a cast of well-known actors including two-time David di Donatello winner Antonia Truppo, and Una storia d’arte in 2020, with emerging actors. The production of this movie was halted by the Covid19 pandemic. In 2021, Pollini completed “La grande guerra del Salento,” an historical drama full length movie released in theatres in Italy in May 2022 received favorable reviews.

Pollini states about his film: “La Grande Guerra del Salento è un film di lacrime, sudore, sangue ma anche di amore e passione. Raccontiamo un mondo sconosciuto, il dopoguerra nel basso Salento. Una storia vera che in pochi conoscono. Raccontiamo le origini del tifo, la passione per il calcio, l’amore per il proprio paese, la rivalità e il desiderio di vendetta e di rivalsa verso gli “amici” del paese vicino.”

In mid-November 2022, Marco Pollini will be coming to Vancouver for the Canadian première of his latest movie. “La grande Guerra del Salento” will be shown at the Italian Cultural Centre on Sunday, November 20, 2022, at the conclusion of the Settimana Gastronomica Pugliese. This event, organized by Federazione Pugliese della BC, includes a Pugliese Food Market, focaccia and pizza specialties by Chef Delbert and Gala dance and dinner with Pugliese food specialties. It was made possible by Dignity Memorial’s sponsorship, and the support of Comites. Recognition goes also to the organizers’ work: Vito Bruno, Anna Foschi Ciampolini, and Cinzia Candela Bicego who first provided the connection with Pollini. For event tickets, call 604.299-0866.

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1 month ago

great film, great story, good luck in Canada


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