Director’s statement

“We Have No Fear” is at the same time a historical documentary and a prison film in absentia, in which the prison itself is present only as a symbolic place of memory. In the nineteen fifties, Bologna was the Communist stronghold in Italy and as such represented a threat to the consolidated order of the Cold War. The tension between central government and municipal administration spills over into a full-fledged police repression addressed to curbing any behaviour that was not aligned with the dominant thinking.

The documentary tells one of the most controversial eras of the Italian and international scenario, through the testimonies of the prisoners held in the prison of San Giovanni in Monte, today Department of History of the local University, and through the voice of the historians who, sixty years on, work inside those same cells to bring back to light the forgotten stories of thousands of people who in the nineteen fifties fought for their rights and for those of the future generations.

The true protagonists of the film are women, committed to the defence of their own rights of workers and citizens, interpreters of that Bolognese anomaly that saw them occupied in the metalworking industry on a par with the men, unlike the prevalent stereotypes.

We have chosen to use exclusively photographs as archive material, because they are more emblematic and accurate as compared with the coeval footage in telling the events; also, by crystallizing the instant documented during the shot, they contribute to underlining the spatial continuity of the place of memory, which have remained architecturally unchanged yet completely re-functionalized. Stylistically, the virtual series of photographs of the past are echoed by series of photographs of the present, investigated with such a detail as to turn them into full-fledge characters.