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Online Premiere: Mario de Marcella – Il Solengo

The incredible story of a solitary man living in the Vejano forest in the heart of Italy.

2013 | 5 - 10 | Italy | Mockumentary | Observational | Solitude

Is it at all possible to live outside the human community? This is the essential question raised by Il Solengo, the short film realised by the Italian-American director duo Matteo Zoppis and Alessio Rigo de Righi, who attended the last Rome Film Festival with their beautiful short-doc Belva Nera (Black Beast). The short film narrates the story of Mario, a hermit who lives in the woods around the small town of Pratolongo, in the area of ​​Vejano, in the province of Viterbo. His fellow citizens call him the “solengo” which, in hunting parlance, means a specific type of adult male boar, generally of large size, which leads a solitary life: «Mario was like this – says one of the hunters – he was a solengo. He would not talk to anyone nor caring about the others. He just wanted his life and nothing more.»

This short is in continuity with Zoppis’ and Rigo de Righi’s effort to investigate over stories, places and traditions of Italy’s rural milieux which are slowly disappearing. The idea is born during a lunch break on the set of Belva Nera, inspired by a series of anecdotes told by a group of farmers and hunters, fellow citizens of Mario the “solengo”. If Belva Nera takes as its starting point the legend of the phantom panther spotted in the hills of Tuscia to describe characters and culture of a microcosm that survives beyond the secular reality of big cities, Il Solengo is a further descent into a territory in which archaic values and ancestral fears are intertwined with love and violence, danger and survival, life and death.

Realised practically a no cost, with a ‘vintage’ style reminiscent of the mytical 70s and 80s Rai’s “intervalli” (Rai is the Italian National TV,) or the famous Carl Sagan’s 70s documentaries, the short is actually a teaser ahead of a much broader project. The intention of the two authors is in fact to raise enough money to make it a feature film. This project excites us and we are happy to give visibility and support to the fund-raising-campaign they are promoting on Indiegogo with Ring Film. The feature will allow to go into the details of this story and the characters involved. In particular, it will make it possible to deepen the figure of Mario the “solengo”, by investigating the underlying reasons for this radical choice of isolation at the edge of sociopathy (and the short already reveals something about it).

The Indigogo campaign end 26th of march: to learn more and contribute to the project, click here.
You can read our interview to the two authors here.

Tommaso Fagioli

Tommaso Fagioli

Founder @ Good Short Films. Fond of great stories, great thinkers, great food. My motto is: your motto.

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