Lubo, story of injustice and warning for today. Giorgio Diritti’s film in competition in Venice


By John

A sensitive director, Giorgio Dirittithe author of the Wind makes his rounds, The Man Who Will Come on the Marzabotto massacre, I Wanted to Hide with Elio Germano – Antonio Ligabue: in Venice 80 brings Lubo into competitionloosely based on the novel Il sominatore by Mario Cavatore (Einaudi), the story of a nomad, a Jenisch in Switzerland in the 1930s.

«He is a poor man in the good sense of the term, who is a street artist and who in life finds himself suffering something greater than himself, a great injustice: seeing his own children, while he has to serve in the military in the Swiss army preparing to defend the borders from the risk of a German invasion, taken away just because he is a nomad. His different way of living – says Diritti – becomes a discriminator which then unleashes what will become a chain of evil of which he is part but which he would like and could overturn by believing in the possibility of starting a new life, in love, in justice”.

This story happens in Switzerland in the 1930s, but goes on until the 1970s: Pro Juventute, a philanthropic foundation created with the aim of supporting the rights and needs of children, launched the national re-education program for street children, effectively deporting and uprooting the children of nomads by entrusting them to other families or college, «a unique violence. A widespread human vice”, she explains.

Among the historical consultants also Uschi Waser, a former Jenisch child torn from her family, as well as Jenisch (the third largest European nomadic population, after the Roma and the Sinti) the dialogue coaches were on set given that the original language is passed down orally .

The theme of injustice is in Lubo (in theaters from November 9th with 01) and in many other films from Venice 80. «There is the feeling that society always gets bogged down by the same things and that these same things risk leading to conflicts, wars, etc. again. the sad bet today, and which seems quite lost to me, is that in the 70s there was hope for a better world. Today, many years have passed, there is the feeling that if anything there is resignation, almost as if negativity, evil, indifference towards others are to be accepted.

There has recently been talk of Ukrainian children torn from their families and taken to Russia, history repeats itself. The war in Ukraine, after the period of great empathy and emotion due to the heartbreaking images that reached us, is now almost a habit.”
The two protagonists are Franz Rogowski, the German actor of Disco Boy and Freaks Out, in the role of Lubo, and Valentina Bellè (The Good Mothers of Disney+, awarded as a series in Berlin, and protagonist of Life Next Door, the new unreleased film by Marco Tullio Giordana) in that of his beloved Margherita. «Two characters – says Bellè – similar in the search for simple love and in the suffering of war». The director had no doubts in finding the protagonists in them, “capable of a sense of hope and trust, with poetry inside”.