Gemma di maggio
Lorenzo Giovenga and Giuliano Giacomelli are screenwriters. They were contacted by Simone di Fazio, a hair stylist from Lenola, who wanted to entrust to them part of a project regarding historical memories of World War II organised by the Associazione Vasi and funded by the Lazio region, which included the documentary Solo silenzio (by Marco Marcantonio and Antonella Latilla) and others active locally. The idea took its inspiration from a historical event which has often been overlooked: the tragedy of the Marocchinate - the campaign of violence and mass rapes carried out in 1944 by the Moroccan Goumier soldiers of the French army in Lower Lazio, devastating lives and landscapes.
“After writing the script, there was no other solution but for us to direct it too”, Lorenzo and Giuliano tell me. “We brought our own perspective to it, the cinema we want to make”. In chemistry, a solution is a homogeneous mixture of substances, an intimate compound, and also the result of a problem, which is precisely what Gemma di Maggio is: an amalgam. The two young directors come from a horror background – they realised a low-budget feature film, La progenie del diavolo, which made a name for itself at festivals, and have brought to the film a genre feel which ranges from thriller to rape & revenge, with nods to the western. Furthermore, as Giuliano is from Isola del Liri, Lorenzo from Anguillara and Simone from Lenola, their union has given the story extra resonance by opening it up to a wider interpretation which touches on the various provinces, extending beyond the confines of Lazio. And thanks to the importance of the subject matter and the screenplay, internationally-famous actor Franco Nero agreed to guest-star.
The film was shot in March, 2015 in the very places where the events recounted took place, and is now preparing to appear at a run of festivals: in the meantime, the world premiere will take place in Monrovia, California, where the film has been selected for the Action On Film Festival.
The story of Gemma di maggio has been written by Elisa Casseri, writer.