LA MURAGLIA CINESE
Italy / 1958 / 97'
After a quick overview of Hong Kong, this documentary shows us China, high and low. Starting from Kwellin in Kun-Si, where they still practice cormorant fishing, you reach the Great Wall of China. Then the long frozen rivers near Siberia, that are bombed by small airplanes to anticipate spring, and the fabulous Katai, inhabited by the Kazaki and Uiguri. Gengis Khan’s descendants still go hunting with the eagle in the Mongolian steppe; then you can see the camel drivers of the Gobi desert. In Mander Miao you can assist in a feast encountering Mongolian fighting, then from the desert you venture to the forest that borders the Ming’s tombs and follow a tiger beating. You assist religious ceremonies that have been celebrated for four thousand years, you get to know the peasants’ daily life and the story of the latest sold bride. You go along the great rivers, watching the touching funeral of a child drowned in the pearls river, you visit the big cities, you share the anguish caused by a flood and finally you see a party in Beijing. “Nastro d'argento” in 1958 for the best photography to Pier Ludovico Pavoni. “David di Donatello” in 1958 for the best producer to Leonardo Bonzi. Great prize to the International Mountain Festival “Città di Trento
When he was a young man, Carlo Lizzani worked in the editorial office of cinema review magazines such as "Cinema" and "Bianco e Nero". He began as a screenwriter for Aldo Vergano in the film Il sole sorge ancora (1946). He worked as a scriptwriter for De Santis in films such as: Caccia tragica (1947), Riso amaro (1949) – receiving an Oscar nomination for the best screenplay – and Non c'è pace tra gli ulivi (1950). In 1948 he was awarded for the best original screenplay at Locarno Festival with Germania anno zero (1948) by Roberto Rossellini. He started his career as a director with the documentary Viaggio al Sud (1949) and in 1951 with his first fiction film Achtung! Banditi! (1951). In 1953, he received the International Award in Cannes for the film Cronache di poveri amanti starring Marcello Mastroianni, a film shot at the same time as the dramatic film Ai margini della metropoli (1953) starring Giulietta Masina. He worked with the major Italian film-makers such as Cesare Zavattini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Federico Fellini, Dino Risi and Alberto Lattuada. He shot Il gobbo (1960) with Pier Paolo Pasolini and Requiescant (1966). Among his many other films there are: Il carabiniere a cavallo (1961), Il processo di Verona (1963) and La vita agra (1964) starring Ugo Tognazzi. In 1965, he worked with Ettore Scola in the comedy Thrilling, starring Alberto Sordi and, in 1968 he directed Stefania Sandrelli in L'amante di Gramigna. He was awarded the “David di Donatello” for the best direction and the “Nastro d'Argento” for the best screenplay for Banditi a Milano (1968); he collaborated with Jean-Luc Godard, Marco Bellocchio, Bernardo Bertolucci and his friend Pasolini in the collective film Amore e rabbia (1969), going back to individual film-making in 1971 with Roma bene and Mussolini ultimo atto (1974). He then shot Caro Gorbaciov (1988) with Harvey Keitel, after which he worked for the television, producing the fictions C'era una volta un re e il suo popolo (1983), Nucleo zero (1984), Un'isola (1985), Mamma Ebe (1985), Emma (1987), La formula mancata (1989), Il caso Dozier (1993), La donna del treno (1998), Maria José, l'ultima regina (2002) and Le cinque giornate di Milano (2004). In 1994 he was one of the Jury members at Berlin Film Festival and made the film Celluloide (1995) with Christopher Walken, winning the “David di Donatello” prize for the best screenplay. He was the author of significant video portraits, such as Luchino Visconti (1999), Roberto Rossellini – Frammenti e battute (2000) and Un altro mondo è possibile (2001). In 2002 he was awarded the honour of “Knight of the Gran Cross, Order of Merit of the Italian Republic”, and in 2007 he received the “David di Donatello” prize for his career.