IL VARCO - ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH

In 1941, an Italian soldier is leaving for the Soviet front. The Fascist army is allied with the Nazi war machine. Victory seems close. The convoy moves forward, men are singing and hopeful. The soldier’s mind goes back to the melancholic fairy tales his Russian mother told him. Unlike his younger companions, he has already been to war, in Africa, and he fears it. The train crosses Europe, reaching the interminable expanses of the Ukrainian plains. As winter arrives, enthusiasm wanes under the first mortar shells, the cold and the snow. The most heartfelt desire is no longer victory, but rather a warm bed, food, and to go back home. The immense wind ravaged steppe seems to be inhabited by ghosts.

  • Federico Ferrone
    Director
    The Train to Moscow
  • Michele Manzolini
    Director
    The Train to Moscow
  • Federico Ferrone
    Writer
    The Train to Moscow
  • Michele Manzolini
    Writer
    The Train to Moscow, Stories of the Half-Light
  • Wu Ming 2
    Writer
    Formato Ridotto, The Man with the Lantern
  • Claudio Giapponesi
    Producer
    Anita, The Train to Moscow, A Noble Revolution, Circle, The Prince of Ostia Bronx, The Man with The Lantern, Stories of the Half-Light
  • Emidio Clementi
    Key Cast
    "Unknown Soldier"
  • Simonluca Laitempergher
    Music
    The Man with The Lantern, Stories of the Half-Light
  • Andrea Vaccari
    DOP
    Il vento fa il suo giro, Stories of the Half-Light
  • Maria Fantastica Valmori
    Editing
    Camorra, Diva!, Montedoro, Zeta
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    IL VARCO
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Feature
  • Genres:
    History, Drama, Archive
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 10 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    September 1, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    250,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Italy
  • Country of Filming:
    Italy, Russian Federation, Ukraine
  • Language:
    Italian, Russian
  • Shooting Format:
    HD + 9,5mm + 16mm + 8mm + Super8
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • 76° Mostra Internazionale d'arte cinematografica di Venezia
    Venezia
    Italy
    September 3, 2019
    World
    Sconfini
  • 13° Salida Doc Fest
    Salina
    Italy
    September 12, 2019
    Regional
    Concorso Internazionale SDF XIII “(R)ESISTENZE”
  • 37° Annecy cinèma italien
    Annecy
    France
    September 24, 2019
    France
    Jury Special Mention
  • 24° Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
    Jihlava
    Czech Republic
    October 25, 2019
    Czech
    Opus Bonum
Distribution Information
  • Istituto Luce Cinecittà
    Country: Italy
    Rights: Theatrical
  • RAI Cinema
    Country: Italy
    Rights: Free TV
  • Slingshot Film
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Federico Ferrone, Michele Manzolini

Federico Ferrone (Florence, 13 August 1981) and Michele Manzolini (Sondrio, 7 May 1980) have worked together since 2007. Their work is focused on the creative use of found footage in films at the crossroads between archive, documentary and fiction. Their films have been selected, among others, at the Karlovy Vary, Visions du Réel and DocLisboa film festivals. Their latest film The Train to Moscow was presented in competition at the 31st Torino Film Festival.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Il varco is a work of fiction made with both official and amateur archive material. It is the subjective account of a soldier involved in the Italian campaign in Russia during WWII. The film, as well as the footage it is made from, is populated by presences. As the war becomes more desperate, ghosts wander the Ukrainian steppe in ever increasing numbers. Memories haunt the protagonist’s mind, taking him back to the horrors of Italy’s colonial war. And finally fragments of a war yet to come, one being fought in Ukraine today, in the very same places. Present and past run on parallel tracks, which get closer and eventually merge. As if the wounds of over 70 years had never healed.