RIFF Movies Archive


Italy, 2019, Miscellaneous - Color - 125

Rogelio Farfuquino

Rogelio Farfuquino

Rogelio Farfuquino

Paolo Bellan

Rogelio Farfuquino

Alessandro Borgini

Enzo Mattia Congiù

Maurizio Noris


It’s 1994 and Sergio Morlaghi, a Milanese painter who hides something in his past, goes back to the countryside he had left a quarter of a century before with a one-way ticket. His story weaves with those of Bruna, a bartender who was an old flame of his, of Luca and Lisca, two young friends who are looking for a change in their life, of George, a stage director who found a new dimension along the pebbly shore of the river and of Marta and Flo, two travelling funfair workers. But the real protagonists are in the background. First, the floodplain of northern Italy flanking the Sesia river with its rice fields, a land that received in the late 1960s, with the arrival of herbicides, a shock from which it never recovered. Then, what was left in the ‘90s of its inhabitants, the survivors of a rural civilization that remained almost unchanged through the centuries to suddenly collapse and fade away with a few years lasting agony. And also a small wooden box, that will give to an apparently mental defective the important task to remember and to pass on to the next generations, as the plot also gives some suggestions about the role that theater and video works have in the preservation of the memory of a lost age, using, in this case, the last of its real characters and making them play in their shoes. The narration develops through the intertwining of two temporal frames (1994 and 2018), astonishingly shot without any reconstruction because of the unfortunate episodes that damaged a production that reached its end only after a 25 years lasting break.

Rogelio Farfuquino is a heteronym film director who has, like all heteronyms, his own directing style, physical appearance, personality and biography. He was born in 1959 in Vercelli, northwest Italy, and he grew up in a village of the near countryside where his mother worked as a rice weeder. He learned the local dialect, a dead language which he considers his mother tongue, before than Italian. He had a happy childhood but, at the end of it, his alcoholic father began to exploit him, obliging him to overwork as a hodman and restraining him from having a normal instruction. In order to comfort him because of his father’s behavior, his mother revealed him that he was the son of a Mexican man she frequented for a short time before being married. When the young Elio (his real name) could finally escape from his parent’s home, he changed his family name with that of his Mexican father that the mother told him and adapted his first name to a Mexican sound. Several years later only, after the death of his mother, he knew from an old aunt that the story of the Mexican father was a white lie and that his family name had been invented too, but he decided to maintain it. In that moment, he had spent a good part of his life in Mexico and Latin America, living on many odd and menial jobs. He never attended any school after his childhood an even less a cinema class, learning all what he knows about movies from somebody else’s ones and from the making of “Alfradelindian”, a two hours video work he began in 1994, after his temporary return to Italy, without having even shot a short and investing in it all the money he had gathered from his working abroad. Many misadventures, mainly due to his technical inexperience but also to bad luck, prevented him from finishing it until the beginning of 2019, when Farfuquino finally could put his work in a drawer. “Alfradelindian” is his first and only movie, «A 25-year experience that I don’t want to repeat», he told his main collaborator, who obtained a copy of it before Farfuquino definitively left Italy. The exploitation by his father and his introverted nature made Farfuquino a socially excluded person since his teens and, as an outcast, he suffers from misanthropy, that makes very difficult any attempt of interviewing him. Recently reached through skype, he denied being a film director and that what he made was a movie. The answer to the obvious question «But what is it, then?» was: «An awkward and pathetic attempt to make immortal the characters and the places of my childhood. And now leave me alone.»




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