His Excellency Giovanni Caracciolo di Vietri,Mr President,Dear Jerome Clement,Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a special emotion to open this evening of presentation of the
film by Mario Martone, Noi credevamo, which reflects the strength of links and
cultural cooperation between France and Italy, particularly in the
area. While I was director of the Villa Medici
I was able to measure this subtle, tenuous, twinning connection I dare say, between our two
country: this affinity, it fed on the «grand tour», it was cultivated
in the attraction of the ruins, in the charm of the landscapes of Tuscany,
in the climate of the terrace over Rome and its remains. It nourishes
today exchanges and creativity in the field of cinema,
contemporary theatre, fashion, design.

In this regard, I would like to commend the quality and continuity of the commitments
of Arte in the field of film production support
I would also like to thank Jérôme
Clement for having made available the magnificent room of the Châtelet and
allow Mario Martone’s film to be presented in the best
conditions.

Almost 150 years ago the kingdom of Italy was proclaimed in Turin by the king
of Piedmont-Sardinia, Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy. It’s this story
of noise and fury told us in his ample fresco worthy of
Dumas, this novelist who fully experienced the adventures of the Risorgimento
alongside those who were then known as
“brigands”.

Too often the powerful links between the process are forgotten
and the political, literary and diplomatic history of 19th-century France
century, from the stories of Dumas to the numerous and secret meetings of
Napoleon III with the «great architect» of unity, Camillo Benso count
Cavour (1810-1859). The film rediscovers this unknown period of
European history, in the wake of Visconti (Senso) and Ermanno
Olmi (I Fidanzati). It traces the tormented destiny of three teenagers, two
and a son of a peasant, who dedicate their lives to
independence and the Italian nation. Their struggle alongside the
republicans of Mazzini, of that Genoese in exile who made his own the ideas of
revolution and republic, is a path sown with hopes, promises
and disappointments in the image of the short breath of Liberty in pre-unitary Italy.

I would like to commend the work of Mario Martone, director of the Turin Theatre,
director with recognized talent, who excels as much in the Opera as
in cinema. Co-produced by Films d'ici and Palomar, Mario’s film
Martone depicts an ambitious, abducted and historic fresco
full of truth, served with a plethora of actors with strong personality,
the image of Luca Lo Cascio, unforgettable psychiatrist in La meglio
gioventù, by Toni Servillo, an inspired performer in Il Divo.

This ceremony is an opportunity to tell how rich Italy and France
of their film heritage, are also countries where the history of
the nation nourished the creation and vision of self and others, of Sacha
Guitry to Bertrand Tavernier, Eric Rohmer to Patricia Mazuy. This story
Freedom and national constructions, it is a history of Europe,
it should be a shared horizon, it is also a look at the past
which must feed our ambitions for a Europe of culture and cinema
tomorrow.