Vite di ballatoio

Feature Film Italy 1984

In the 80s in Turin the "belle di notte" ("ladies" of the night) were street "workers", transvestites and transsexuals coming from the South of Italy, from Puglia and Campania in particular. The film is a docu-fiction in the real sense of the word, where the change from real documentary footage to fiction is almost imperceptible. One of the greatest movies by Daniele Segre with wonderful editing by Roberto Perpignani from the Turin school of cinema, which was just starting in those years. Scenes of the interior of houses facing the ballatoi (typical Italian communal balconies accessed by a number of flats and overlooking a courtyard) and the expression of a past sense of decency in daily life. Watching it today, when prostitution is seen as business and prostitutes are called escorts, we may think that an entire geological era has passed. Unforgettable moments: a girl sings Malafemmena (a popular Neapolitan song) and another recites lines from Filumena Marturano (a play written in 1946 by Eduardo De Filippo). Born in Alessandria in 1952, Segre, much appreciated as a documentarist, in 1981 he founded the I Cammelli production company and then Scuola Video di Documentazione Sociale I Cammelli (School for social documentary film) in Turin. Amongst his works, the feature film Testadura (1983) and Manila Paloma Blanca (1992), the stage direction of Week-end by Annibale Rucello and soneìme tv series.

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