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Marco Camenisch was among the first promoters of environmental defense to embrace armed protest. Under the battle name of Martino, he fought against the authorities to defend his mountains and assert his freedom. Lena is the daughter he abandoned to fight when she was four years old. She barely remembers Marco and yet her life is marked by his presence.
The film tells the story of the two moments when their lives intertwined. In 1989, after years on the run, Marco returns to his hometown to visit his father's grave, and he is accused of murdering a border guard. In 2002, he is extradited to Switzerland to serve his prison sentence. In an impossible dialogue between the two main characters, the film explores the repercussions of an extreme and stubborn life choice.
I discovered Marco Camenisch, the land where he grew up and his community while shooting my latest film in Poschiavo, a small village in the Swiss mountains. I was immediately struck by how the inhabitants still had his tragic return to the village in the autumn of 1989 vivid in their eyes. Through the testimonies of those who knew him, Marco Camenisch is still a cumbersome shadow in the present of those who stayed behind. This gave me the idea to imagine Martino as my first fiction film, as the natural synthesis of this long path of formal research and study of the mountain territory. The choice of fiction allows us to investigate the life of the protagonist and the affections that surround him in greater depth. Marco was not just his nom de guerre Martino, a mountain man who was active in the 1970s and 1980s when anti-nuclear uprisings and demonstrations began to flare up with impetus and violence. He was not only an eco-terrorist who served 27 years in prison for fighting against an exploitative and harmful system, making the environment and nature the cornerstones of his battle. Marco was also a father, a son, a brother and, before that, a mountain boy driven by dreams and noble ideals. Martino finds fulfilment in fiction because, although it is based on real people and events, its objective is not to reconstruct a didactic story, but to give an unprecedented portrait of him, recounting how his utopian struggle changed, how his extreme choices had repercussions on the people closest to him, first and foremost his daughter Lena, without indulging in celebration but plumbing the chords of the soul. The film therefore sets out to explore the effects of his struggle while trying to understand the nuances of his life and the motivations that drove him to fight.
Alessandro Carroli, Zelia Zbogar (Responsabili sviluppo)