We The Italians | Italian entertainment: Waiting for a movie about Dante

Italian entertainment: Waiting for a movie about Dante

Italian entertainment: Waiting for a movie about Dante

  • WTI Magazine #135 Jan 16, 2021
  • 679

2021 has just started and it will be surely remembered in the history for various facts and events. Among them, there is a noteworthy one which stands out for its undisputed nobility and prestige, especially for Italy: the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri. Dante Alighieri is considered the father of the Italian language and his “Divina Commedia” is reckoned as one of the major masterpieces of the world literature.  

He was not only a writer and a poet, but also a philosopher and a politician. Dante (probably baptized Durante) was born in Florence and represented the expression of the Medieval culture, as well as the soul of the then rising “Dolce Stil Novo” movement. His unbearable love towards Beatrice is well known worldwide, and symbolized the birth of a new sentiment, pure and kind, exalted by a strong religious sensibility.

So, this year, it can be natural thinking of a great way to celebrate the highest poet of the Italian literature. Regarding the cinematography, an important director, Pupi Avati, has expressed this urgent need and has already prepared the draft for a tempting movie which should tell the story of Dante’s life, but not from the scholastic point of view. Indeed, Pupi would like to present Dante as a human being, his uncertainties and desires explained by another supreme writer and poet of that time: Giovanni Boccaccio.

The cinematic history is full of different movies and short films concerning Dante, but most of them talk about the Divine Comedy or focus on some specific cantos. Starting from the early 1900s, several silent movies were realized by Italian and American directors, showing some of the most important characters of the Divine Comedy: Paolo and Francesca and the Count Ugolino. From the ‘60s, few tv series also appeared: some introduced Dante’s life as a poet and politician, others represented the first cantos of the Divine Comedy Hell. At the end of the ‘90s and almost until nowadays, Dante had begun to inspire some SCI-FI and thriller movies, which reinterpreted the Divine Comedy (especially the Hell part) in strange and unusual keys: examples are “Dante 01” set in the space, “The Core” describing a trip to the center of the Earth and the popular “Inferno”, with a particular reference to the Hell illustrated by the great painter Botticelli.

It seems that the world cinematography lacks of a modern movie, which tells the story of Dante as a man, starting from his childhood, when he first met his beloved Beatrice and going through his life, full of fragilities and dreams. This is why the director Pupi Avati is so firm in his project; for him, the Italian culture needs to know Dante in a different way, far from the scholastic idea of a grim poet with an authoritative and dismissive behavior. The expected movie has not yet received the approval of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, so the famous director has invited people to acclaim and insist for the realization of a film regarding the father of the Italian literature.