Hours and hours of anguish live. The anguish of two parents over the fate of their six-year-old child. A fate hanging on the wire of a microphone: the one dropped into the well of Vermicino, through which mother Franca and father Ferdinando – and then millions of Italians live on TV – listened to the frightened voice of little Alfredino Rampi, trapped tens of meters underground, while the rescuers tried to save him. Forty years after that tragedy that in June 1981 kept the whole of Italy glued to TV and that broke the boundaries of what was allowed to show (and how it was allowed to show it) comes the TV series Alfredino – Una storia italiana. First TV on Sky Cinema and streaming on Now in four episodes (for two evenings, tonight and next Monday), it is directed by Marco Pontecorvo and played by Anna Foglietta in the role of Franca Rampi.
Anna, how did you approach this very delicate role?
In ’81 I was too young to understand and then remember, but I didn’t want to see the archive images: I had to build a distance from the true story. I didn’t meet Franca Rampi out of respect for her will, but I think she has always held my hand. I respect her infinitely, in those days she was the mother of Alfredo and everyone.
Did you have any resistance at first, any fears? How did you overcome them?
I was very worried because I felt a huge responsibility for this role, as a citizen even more than as an actress. Then one day a neighbor who knew I was going to do Franca Rampi told me that her mother was going to mass with Franca and added: “You can do it, because you have a big heart like her”. This moved me, it made me say “I can really do it”.
Alfredino’s tragedy was also a turning point, a loss of innocence …
If we have a fault it is that of not having protected the children at that juncture. They weren’t ready to have their childhood buried in such a violent way. We are all a little dead in that well, all the children are a little dead in that well. But that Italy of 40 years ago I forgive it, because it was a naive, unprepared Italy, overwhelmed also by the impatience to see a positive side. Everyone hoped and thought that that child would be saved and participating in that collective ritual meant believing that our presence, our energy, made that rescue possible.
Have you set yourself limits not to be exceeded in this story?
This series has a great value: it does not make pain spectacular. The child is never seen and when the pain is too strong the camera moves away, almost the volumes are lowered to bring that pain back into a private dimension. But if there is something that allows us to really elaborate this serious collective mourning, it is the fact that it was functional to the birth of an important body such as the Civil Protection, which would not have been created in such a short time without the tenacity of Mrs. Franca Rampi. , moved by that pain.
Speaking of the spectacularization of pain, a few days ago the video of the tragedy of Mottarone was made public. What do you think?
That it is unacceptable. What does the vision of the tragedy in its precision give me as a spectator? Nothing! It only serves to fuel morbidity. It is a tragic story that has left us all astonished, helpless.
Is it possible that we have not learned anything?
The point is that pain pays off, even in economic terms. Pain is listening. Through the pain of others we do not see ours, it is a great excuse for not elaborating what we really are. There are few truly empathic people who manage to tune into the pain of others.
Often, when certain tragedies occur, it is women who take matters into their own hands. Why do you think?
I said it once in a monologue: because we have the uterus, the uterus is an organ that welcomes and contains. Even if we are not mothers, we have broad shoulders, we are ready for anything, we always get up, we never give up, especially when it comes to fighting for our children. And I don’t just mean ours, everyone’s children.
What is left with you from this experience?
I believe I have participated in a project with a very high political and civil significance. It is part of my artistic career to stage women of great strength who have built a better country. So I am left with the pride of having participated in an important project and having learned even better what dignity is: an enormous value for the human being. And Mrs. Rampi taught me that.
She’s just about to play another one of these strong women …
Yes, with director Costanza Quatriglio we will make a film inspired by the judicial affair that has invested Ilaria Capua. We will face another woman who has fought important battles for other women and contributed to the betterment of humanity by working in the scientific field. He did it with courage and revolutionary spirit.
Last updated: Monday 21 June 2021, 08:19
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