17 March 2024

Berlinale, Costanza Quatriglio’s ‘The Secret Drawer’ in the Forum section

Co-produced and distributed by Luce Cinecittà, the documentary on the journalist and writer Giuseppe Quatriglio was among the 30 films selected in the Forum Category of the 74th Berlin Film Festival

Sicily, the world, a house, a library. In January 2022, Costanza Quatriglio returned to the house where she grew up and opened its doors to archivists and librarians to donate to the Sicilian Region a universe of knowledge that belonged to her journalist father, the library of Giuseppe Quatriglio, a historical journalist of the “Giornale di Sicilia” and other important newspapers, writer, essayist, and friend of the most prestigious men of culture of the twentieth century. It’s the beginning of a sentimental journey through photographs, 8mm reels, and sound recordings made by Quatriglio from the 40s on, in Europe and worldwide, together with footage shot by Costanza between 2010 and 2011 when her father was nearly ninety years old. Palermo and Sicily, with their history and culture, are the viewpoint of a world where everything starts and everything returns.

The Secret Drawer is a documentary film directed by Costanza Quatriglio to be presented in the Forum section of the Berlin Film Festival, produced by Indyca, Luce Cinecittà with Rai Cinema, soon distributed by Luce Cinecittà.

“The discovery of over 60,000 photographic negatives taken by my father from 1947 on, dozens of 8mm reels, and hundreds of hours of sound recordings made me understand that I had the extraordinary possibility of making a film that intertwined events and lives that are part of everyone’s history – explains director Costanza Quatriglio – As a result, the house where I grew up became the set for a personal and complex story that unfolded from its walls to embrace Sicily, Europe, and the world over a century of history.”

In addition to the memories of a father and a little girl, unexpected voices surface from the drawer, such as that of Carlo Levi, memories of Jean Paul Sartre, Quatriglio’s close friendship with Leonardo Sciascia. And photos of Anna Magnani, Cary Grant, and Ingrid Bergman, a failed self-shot with Enrico Fermi, and a drawing by Renato Guttuso, along with afternoons in the company of poet Ignazio Buttitta. But also the Belice earthquake and the Berlin Wall, Paris, and America in the 1950s, up and down the 20th century, up and around the world.

Giuseppe Quatriglio – the “tireless researcher of Sicilian matters,” as his friend Sciascia defined him – was a point of reference for Sicilian journalism, but not only. A great traveler (an «Argonauta, with a golden fleece for luggage,» as he was called), he was a US correspondent and collaborated with many important Italian magazines. Alongside journalism, he was an intense writer, as proven by his 2000 Strega finalist, Sabìr, yet he is best known for A Thousand Years in Sicily, translated into several languages, and still in bookshops. Photography was also a form of expression he excelled in (Pannunzio Award for photographic journalism), as well as his way of talking about the world and becoming its exceptional witness.

Its bookcases and drawers describe all the above, and the “Giuseppe Quatriglio Fund,” donated by his daughter Costanza to the Sicilian Region, has been declared of “Cultural Interest” by the Archival Superintendence of Sicily – State Archives of Palermo due to its great historical value.

The Secret Drawer, directed by Costanza Quatriglio, is an Indyca, Luce Cinecittà production with Rai Cinema, in co-production with Rough Cat and RSI Radiotelevisione Svizzera with the contribution of the MiC – Directorate General for Cinema and Audiovisual, with the support of the Sicilian Region – Tourism, Sport and Entertainment Department, Sicilia Film Commission and Film Commission Torino Piemonte – Piemonte Doc Film Fund, produced by Simone Catania, Francesca Portalupi, Michele Fornasero, and Costanza Quatriglio. Story and screenplay by Costanza Quatriglio, photography by Sabrina Varani, editing by Letizia Caudullo, music by Giovanni Di Giandomenico (Editore FM Records).

Costanza Quatriglio made her debut with the award-winning feature L’isola, presented at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival Quinzaine des Réalisateurs and restored in 2023 by Cinecittà. She directed multi-awarded films and documentaries. In 2013, she presented Con il fiato sospeso at the Venice Film Festival, which earned her several awards. She won the 2013 Nastro d’Argento with Terramatta, and another Nastro d’Argento in 2015 with Triangle. In 2016, her 87 ore won a Special Nastro d’Argento. Sembra mio figlio (Just Like My Son) was released in 2018 after debuting at the Locarno Film Festival, winning a golden Ciak, among others. Her most recent films are the highly successful TV-Movies La bambina che non voleva cantare and Trafficante di virus (The Virus Smuggler).


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