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Renato Scarpa, the memory of the director of ‘Sweet Democracy’: “He and Dario Fo the only free artists who challenged the self-censorship of Italian cinema”

“I’ll be your skeleton in the closet.” With this intimidating phrase, the “very experienced” senator of the First Republic interpreted by Renato Scarpa (who passed away yesterday at the age of 82 in Rome) gave the blessing and the pass for the beginning of the rise to power of the young premier of Sweet Democracy, feature film directed by Michele Diomà and co-produced by Donald Ranvaud, among the latest films in which Massimo’s beloved cult actor took part Spend, Carlo Verdone, Fernando Meirelles, Nanni Moretti and other internationally renowned directors. The director Diomà recalled his collaboration and friendship with Renato Scarpa with these words: “It was the summer of 2015, which perhaps one day historians will identify as ‘the years of rampant renzism’ when I convinced Dario Fo to participate in a satire film that took it out on all that system of fake renewal of Italian politics. In the screenplay approved by producer Donald Ranvaud (4 Oscar nominations for “City of God), there was the character of an old and shrewd senator, who it represented the synthesis of all the worst of the First Republic, recycled into contemporary politics and that in the shadows still held the reins of power. I remember making many phone calls to leading actors, that when they heard that the film would also include the Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo, I accepted without even reading the script, but the epilogue that was repeated shortly after, when I explained to them what the character they were supposed to play represented, was always the same , they said: ‘Oh yes, the character is beautiful, but it could create problems for me’. I realized that there was in Italian cinema a kind of self-censorship, which in my opinion still remains today, the only one who had the courage and the civic sense to accept was Renato Scarpa, telling me “You really get slapped with this film! How wonderful! Give us more! ”. Six years after my first youthful direction, “Sweet Democracy” remains the most sensational case of cinematographic ‘censorship’ in European cinema. There is no civilized country with a state TV, paid with taxpayers’ taxes, which refuses to protect and show a film in which a Nobel Prize for Literature also appears. There have been questions in the RAI parliamentary supervisory commission, governments have followed one another, but in the end, nothing changes, not even me, who will continue to fight to protect the memory of free artists like Renato Scarpa ”.

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