homage to the Unknown Soldier so as not to forget- time.news

from Emilia Costantini

The docu-film directed by Francesco Miccich traces the decision of one of the mothers who decided who, among eleven fallen, would become a symbol in Rome

Eleven coffins, eleven bodies of unidentified soldiers who fell into the trenches during the Great War. A group of mothers are waiting to be heard by the commission that will decide which one will choose the Unknown Soldier. Among them Maria Bergamas, a peasant from Gradisca di Isonzo, who lost her only son, Antonio, in battle. The boy had attacked the enemy lines, voluntarily replacing another soldier who, unlike him, had a wife and children. It will be she who will decide on 28 October 1921, during a ceremony in the Basilica of Aquileia, which of those eleven unnamed bodies will be welcomed in Rome at the Altare della Patria in Piazza Venezia.

Is titled Maria’s choice
the docu-film directed by Francesco Miccich, produced by Anele in collaboration with Rai Cinema, the Aquileia Foundation and the Istituto Luce-Cinecitt, scheduled for Sunday at the Film Festival and broadcast on 4 November on Rai1, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the burial of the Unknown Soldier. Protagonists Sonia Bergamasco, in the role of Maria, Alessio Vassallo in that of Lieutenant Augusto Tognasso. Tognasso medal for valor with 36 war wounds and, for this reason, limping – explains the actor who will be at the Festival with the film Sleepless nights, kisses for breakfast by Francesco Mandelli -. He was sent by Minister Luigi Gasparotto (Cesare Bocci) to the trench of Monte San Michele, where more than 120,000 soldiers died and where the Spagnola virus had begun to spread, due to the inhuman conditions in which the soldiers found themselves living together.

Tognasso’s task to recover the remains of the now unrecognizable victims to take them to Rome: In reality, at the beginning, the lieutenant meets women who ask not to take the bodies of dead soldiers away from the trenches. Together with the local laborers they are in fact opposed to that celebration. Those boys died for us, they say, they defended us and it was right that they remain in our places. During the night, which precedes the ceremony in Aquileia, Tognasso together with a corporal changes the arrangement of the coffins several times, in order to make possible recognition even more difficult. The next morning – continues Vassallo -, when Bergamas is about to choose the body, they are all present. The woman is accompanied near the altar where the coffins are arranged and, in a moment of strong emotion, kneels before the tithe: it will be the one who will be transported to the capital. On 29 October the train leaves Aquileia and those on board witness an unexpected and incredible spectacle: wherever the train passes, there is a huge crowd, everyone kneels, praying, saying goodbye. Each of them has lost someone in that terrible war – continues the actor – and in this way each wants to remember their loved one, paying homage to the passage of that soldier whose identity is unknown. At each station groups of children orphans of war, accompanied by widowed mothers, sing the song of the Piave. The train makes 120 stops and will take four days to arrive at its destination.

You will be welcomed by the King soldier Vittorio Emanuele III who will accompany the coffin first in the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli and then, in a crowded procession along Via Nazionale, in Piazza Venezia. The docu-film was shot right in Aquileia, in the trench of Monte San Michele and in the hamlet of San Martino del Carso, which owes its fame to the fact that it was the scene of numerous battles. And it will be Tognasso – adds Vassallo – who will decide the change of guard that continuously guards the monument, because the Unknown Soldier must never remain alone. Even today, after a hundred years, in fact, constantly watched over by the soldiers of all weapons who, in turn, honor the soldier without identity, symbol of a country, at least for once, united. This film not to forget.

October 20, 2021 (change October 21, 2021 | 07:30)


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