During an open-air evening in Turin, film critic and historian Steve Della Casa presents the silent blockbuster Cabiria and lays the foundations for a re-evaluation of the character of Maciste, more than a century after his appearance on the scene. In the now empty arena, the Maciste from the film, emerges from the screen almost as though summoned by Steve and wants to know about himself: who he is, what his name is and what he has done. From here a real investigation starts, with our Maciste, visible only to his critic, in search of himself. In search of Bartolomeo Pagano, the Genoa camallo (longshoreman) who was chosen by director Giovanni Pastrone to play the mulatto slave who would save Cabiria with the strength of his muscles, at the service of the triumph of justice.

This will be a film about the birth of cinema as we know it today, and, more importantly, an exercise in analysis and re-invention of cinematographic styles and techniques. Maciste was born in 1914 when cinema was in its early infancy and looking to shed the sideshow aura that surrounded it and carve out an autonomous identity for itself. Even then, there were those who were already following courses mapped out by others, and those who wanted to innovate and experiment, risking their capital, names and careers. Maciste was born out of all this and later became an expression of it. Our film will therefore provide a playful look at cinema and its styles, from its very origins. Maciste will therefore perform a new miracle – he’ll bring the past back to life at the same time as he tries to innovate in a present world that too often thinks it has no further need of inventing anything new.

Maurizio Sciarra
Maurizio Sciarra
Maurizio Sciarra, in collaborazione con Steve Della Casa
Film Editor
Luigi Mearelli
Set Design
Andrea Morini
Costume Design
Accademia Costume & Moda, con la supervisione di Andrea Viotti
Original Music
Emanuele Frusi
Keti Matta
Cast and characters

Giuseppe Abbagnale, Steve Della Casa

Production Director
Gaia Gunetti
Organizzatore generale
Gaia Gunetti
Alessandro Borrelli
con il sostegno di Film Commission Torino Piemonte - Piemonte Doc Film Fund - sviluppo giugno 2020, produzione giugno 2022; in collaborazione con Museo Nazionale del Cinema Torino; con il supporto di MIC Direzione Generale Cinema e Audiovisivo.
Last update: 15 March 2024