The 71st Locarno Festival will pay tribute to the Taviani Brothers, and honor the memory of Vittorio Taviani, who died last April. Paolo Taviani will be a guest of the festival and present a new print of the their film Good Morning Babiylon (1987) in the outdoor cinema the Piazza Grande, recently restored by Italy’s National Film Archive and Istituto Luce-Cinecitta.
Paolo and Vittorio Taviani worked together throughout their careers, beginning to direct in 1954 with a series of social documentaries. Their first feature, A Man for Burning, was co-directed with Valentino Orsini, about a man who tries to convince Sicilian peasants to revolt against the Mafia, based on union organizer Salvatore Carnevale. It won the Italian Film Critics Award at the 1962 Venice Film Festival.
Over the years their creative partnership grew through an exploration of new film styles in I sovversivi (1967), Sotto il segno dello scorpione (1969), San Michele aveva un gallo (1972) and Allonsanfan (1974) with Marcello Mastroianni and Lea Massari.
But it wasn’t until 1977 that they received true international acclain, winning the Palme d’Or in Cannes with their seminal work Padre Padrone. The film tells the true life story of Gavino Ledda, the son of a Sardinia shepherd, who educated himself and escaped his violent upbringing.
The brothers have won nearly all top European awards. Their 1982 film The Night of the Shooting Stars won the Grand Jury Prize in Cannes. In 1986 they were honored with a Venice career Golden Lion.
And in 2012 they won the Berlin Golden Bear for their film Caesar must die, a film about inmates at a high-security prison in Rome preparing for a production of the famous Shakespearen play Julius Caesar.
The brother’s last film together Rainbow: A Private Affair, has been picked up for U.S. and U.K. streaming rights by Amazon Prime Video.
The Locarno Film Festival takes place August 1-11.