At Italy On This Day you will read about events and festivals, about important moments in history, and about the people who have made Italy the country it is today, and where they came from. Italy is a country rich in art and music, fashion and design, food and wine, sporting achievement and political diversity. Italy On This Day provides fascinating insights to help you enjoy it all the more.

19 August 2019

Nanni Moretti –film director

Award winning filmmaker helped shape politics


Giovanni 'Nanni' Moretti was an outspoken opponent of Silvio Berlusconi's politics
Giovanni 'Nanni' Moretti was an outspoken
opponent of Silvio Berlusconi's politics
Giovanni ‘Nanni’ Moretti, film director, producer, screen writer and actor, was born on this day in 1953 in Brunico in the South Tyrol.

Moretti has been a prominent opponent to Silvio Berlusconi’s governments and policies in Italy. In his 2006 film, Il Caimano, a comedy drama focusing on allegations about Berlusconi’s lifestyle, he played the role of Berlusconi himself.

Moretti’s parents, who were both teachers, were from Rome but he was born while they were on holiday in Trentino-Alto Adige. His father, Luigi Moretti, taught Greek at Sapienza University in Rome.

While growing up Moretti developed a passion for the cinema and water polo. He started making films for a hobby and played in the junior national water polo team in 1970.

His first feature film, Io sono un autarchico - I am Self-sufficient, was released in 1976.

Two years later he wrote, directed and starred in the film Ecce Bombo, which was screened at the Cannes film festival. This is still a cult film for many Italians.

His film Sogni d’Oro won the Silver Lion at the 38th Venice International film festival.

The publicity poster for Moretti's film Il Caimano
The publicity poster for
Moretti's film Il Caimano
He is perhaps best known for the films Caro Diario - Dear Diary, in 1993 and La stanza del figlio - The Son’s Room, in 2001, which won the Palme D’Or at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival.

Moretti used certain actors many times in his films. His father, Luigi, appeared in six of them and the actor Silvio Orlando appeared in five.

His experience playing water polo in the B division of the Italian championship inspired his film Palombella Rossa. Palombella, which literally means little pigeon refers to a type of lob shot.

Known to Italians as a maker of humorous, slightly eccentric films often featuring himself, his most recent role was in the 2015 film Mia Madre - My Mother.

In 2002 Moretti organised street protests against Berlusconi and his 2006 film, Il Caimano, has been credited with influencing the result of the election the same year, which Berlusconi lost.

Brunico, in the Sudtirol province of Trentino-Alto Adige,  is largely a German-speaking town
Brunico, in the Sudtirol province of Trentino-Alto Adige,
is largely a German-speaking town
Travel tip:

Brunico, where Nanni Moretti was born, is a town in the Sudtirol province in the region of Trentino-Alto Adige near the Austrian border. It is known as Bruneck in German and Branecium in Latin. According to the 2011 census 82.47 per cent of the population speak German, 15.24 per cent speak Italian and 2.29 per cent speak Ladin, a Romance language mainly spoken in the Dolomites and the provinces of South Tyrol, Trentino and Belluno. Brunico has a castle dating back to the 13th century. The lovely Church of the Assumption of Mary originated as a small chapel in the 14th century.

The Cinema Nuovo Sacher, in the Trastevere district, is co-owned by Moretti, who lives in Rome
The Cinema Nuovo Sacher, in the Trastevere district, is
co-owned by Moretti, who lives in Rome
Travel tip:

Nanni Moretti still lives in Rome, the city where he grew up, and he is the co-owner of a small cinema, Cinema Nuovo Sacher, which is named after his favourite cake, Sacher Torte. The cinema is housed in a 1930s building that was once a variety theatre in Largo Ascianghi in the Trastevere district.

More reading:

Giuseppe Tornatore, the director behind Cinema Paradiso

The actor dubbed 'Italy's Olivier'

The genius of Michelangelo Antonioni

Also on this day:

1570: The birth of composer and violinist Salomone Rossi

1580: The death of architect Andrea Palladio

1957: The birth of football coach Cesare Prandelli


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