Puccini And The Girl
(Puccini e la fanciulla)

Paolo Benvenuti’s opus was conceived for the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of composer Puccini’s birth. Benvenuti focuses on a precise episode in Puccini's life: an alleged love affair with his maid.

In 1908, while Puccini (played here by orchestra conductor Riccardo J. Moretti) is engrossed with the composition of his opera The Girl of the Golden West, sexual intrigue swirls around him. When maid Doria (Tania Squillario) witnesses Puccini's stepdaughter Fosca (Debora Mattiello) in flagrante, Fosca seeks to discredit the maid, and tells her mother Elvira (Giovanna Daddi) – herself a philanderer - that Puccini is having an affair with Doria. But instead, the maestro is seeing Doria’s cousin, Giulia (Federica Chezzi)…

The film is structured around letters found in a recently unearthed suitcase as well as two silent home movies of Puccini. Set against the beauty of Tuscany, Benvenuti has created an almost wordless picture, punctuated only by music and traditional songs, readings from the original letters and the sounds of nature. This one-of-akind film should not to be missed by opera and arts lovers.

Director: Paolo Benvenuti

Cast: Riccardo Moretti,
Tania Squillaro, Federica Chezzi,
Giovanna Daddi, Dario Marconcini

Italian with English subtitles

2008 | 84' | 35mm