The Son of Hamlet

Il figlio di Amleto (Italia, 2009, 75’, colore)
director Francesco Gatti
editing Francesco Gatti
editing after the death of the director Giusi Castelli, Damiano Grasselli, Giovanni Maderna, Franco Monopoli, Massimo Salvucci, Gianluigi Toccafondo
sound editing Suite Sound Design
production company Quarto Film
co-producer Semisemplice
with the contribution of Fabe S.r.l.

Invitations and awards Locarno International Film Festival, Milano Film Festival

Twenty years on, this film re-examines the motives and ambiguity behind that relationship, revealing a mutual infatuation and dependence. On the one hand the young artist enthralled by the great intellectual and Milan society; on the other, the elderly writer, a Catholic and a homosexual, patently ill at ease with his own wealth who feels urged to help those who are worse off than him.
A poor man from Lombardy, a fatherless rebel with an angelic face, a reclusive dreamer, “wise” but inarticulate, Sergio Battarola was the prototype of the impoverished, fatherless young men that Testori loved and helped during the last years of his life. Sergio was the last of these sons. The only one who stayed poor.

The film focuses on the father-son relationship that developed over the years in which Sergio and Testori spent time together. A relationship that began in the 1980’s and ended at Testori’s bedside shortly before he died in 1993.
Since then, the painter Battarola has always remained in his village, without ever managing to break into the vast Milanese market again. Once in a while, an article in a local paper, a moment of attention from Sgarbi, a small exhibition, a priest who is a collector or even the flattery of a young film director raise Battarola’s hopes of becoming famous once again…

Francesco Gatti was born in Treviglio (Bergamo) in 1977. In 2000, he won the Solinas Award for his screenplay Storie per dormire, a project that caught the attention of Goffredo Fofi and various Italian directors who were debuting at that time like Giovanni Maderna and Francesco Munzi, with whom Gatti worked on various projects. In the following years, he made some shorts and his first documentaries, the latter immediately characterized by a highly personal choice of language, uninhibited and irreverent, and the need to make do with tiny budgets. Opting for the documentary format was, in actuality, a makeshift solution compared with his aspiration to shoot feature films which seemed out of his reach, and in fact his works were never simple documentaries. On the contrary, they evoke the stylistic elements and atmospheres of feature films, at times with stinging irony and at times with the aim of turning the tables on them. The turning-point came in 2005, with the documentary Irreality Show, Filmmaker doc/10 Award, screened at the Batik Film Festival in Perugia and not in the official competition at the Bellaria Film Festival. The film, in which interaction between the director and his protagonists becomes mellow and concerned, won him praise from the most attentive critics, and in particular, in Milan, from Luca Mosso, who was to back him also as a member of the Filmmaker Association. Following the short A relativistic film (2005, 14th Arcipelago Festival in Rome; 11th International Short Film Festival in Siena), he won the Filmmaker doc/11 Award for his documentary The rules of the game, shown in the official competition at the Bellaria Film Festival and the Taranto Film Festival. The Falck Years, a documentary comprising footage from the Falck family’s film archives, made with Giusi Castelli, dates back to 2007 and was shown at the Bergamo Film Meeting and the FID (Festival International du Documentaire) in Marseille.
Francesco Gatti died July 26 2008 in Milan, leaving his last film, The son of Hamlet, in the pre-editing stage. The editing was completed by the producer and a group of people with whom Francesco usually worked.

[flv width=”480″ height=”360″][/flv]