THE RED TREE / L'ALBERO ROSSO
AUDIENCE AWARD WINNER • NEW FEST NYC LGBTQ FF. QUEER STREIFEN REGENSBURG.
BEST SHORT DOC. SIDE BY SIDE LGBT FF St. PETERSBURG. 69th MONTECATINI SHORT FILM FESTIVAL. VERONA FILM FESTIVAL ITALY. MED FILM FESTIVAL ITALY.
IRIS PRIZE NOMINEE 2018
BEST ITALIAN SHORT [ NOMINATED } MILAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
THE RED TREE is a short documentary that tells the little known history of Italian gay men being arrested and exiled to a remote prison island during Mussolini's Fascist regime.
In the film, an elderly man returns to the island of San Domino where 60 years before during the Fascist era he was imprisoned with hundreds of other men for being homosexual.
As he walks the island alone, memories come back - of all-male dances in his home town in Sicily in the 1930s, of his beating and arrest, the difficulty of prison life on the island, the suffering of gay men under fascism, and their public humiliation after their return. And of this unique island where all the prisoners were gay, and the seeds of a community were first sown.
Narrated by award winning actor Leo Gullotta (Cinema Paradiso), the film is an innovative doc/hybrid, combining footage filmed on present day San Domino (now a popular tourist island) with visually arresting treatments of archival material and re-enactments filmed in Brooklyn. The narration is written by Luca de Santis (In Italia Sono Tutti Maschi), built on research using the few reports of the arrests and island life that remain - letters, police reports, and interviews. The dense immersive soundtrack is by frequent Still Films collaborator Aperture Records artist Oberman Knocks.
With Leo Gullotta. Nath Ann Carrera. Luca Torregiani. Director and Editor - Paul Rowley. Producers - Nicky Gogan & Paul Rowley. Script - Luca de Santis & Paul Rowley. Cinematography - Frederic Fasano & Paul Rowley. Music by Oberman Knocks. Sound Design - Fiadhnait McCann. Sound Mix - Killian FitzGerald at Avatar Post. Special thanks for historical interviews Giovanni Dall'Orto. Gianfranco Goretti. Tommaso Giartosio.
Produced with the support of a Project Award from The Arts Council / An Comhairle Ealaíon
More info on our website: stillfilms.org/portfolio/the-red-tree/