Commemorating Franco Basaglia’s Legacy Through ’50 Years of CLU’

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by EH

Following its premiere at the 2024 Trieste Film Festival, a cinematic ode to Franco Basaglia’s enduring legacy is set to grace screens once more, marking the centenary of his birth. Entitled “50 Years of CLU,” the film encapsulates the visionary psychiatrist’s pioneering ethos, which revolutionized mental health care by placing individuals at its core and reinstating the right to work for those grappling with mental distress.

Directed by Erika Rossi and produced in collaboration with the United Workers Cooperative Franco Basaglia with Ghirigori, this documentary promises a poignant journey through Basaglia’s groundbreaking work. Scheduled for a screening on Friday, March 15th, at 6 p.m. within the hallowed confines of Basaglia’s domain, the Teatrino named in honor of him and his wife Franca, nestled in the former Psychiatric Hospital of Trieste’s San Giovanni Park, the film invites audiences to reflect on Basaglia’s enduring impact.

Following this premiere, the film is slated to tour various cultural hubs, including Gorizia’s Kinemax on March 21st, where director Erika Rossi will be present, and Bologna’s Cinema Modernissimo on March 22nd, featuring a program titled “The Thought That Changes Things: 100 Years of Basaglia in Cinema,” presented by the Bologna Cinematheque, with director Erika Rossi and protagonist Massimo Cirri in attendance. The journey culminates in Venice on June 1st, at Palazzo Grassi, as part of the Festival of the Mad.

The United Workers Cooperative Franco Basaglia, birthed in Trieste in 1972, stands as a testament to Basaglia’s innovative spirit. Blending patients from the psychiatric hospital with medical professionals, it aimed to restore dignity and autonomy to those often marginalized by society. Today, with over 20,450 similar enterprises dotting Italy’s landscape, Basaglia’s vision continues to inspire and resonate.

The documentary boasts a rich tapestry of voices, featuring witnesses from Basaglia’s era alongside contemporary champions of CLU’s mission. From Augusto Debernardi to Gian Luigi Ramos, these voices weave a narrative of resilience and hope, ensuring Basaglia’s legacy endures.

For those eager to delve deeper into this transformative narrative, further details can be found at ghiri-gori.com and clufbasaglia.it.

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Edward Hunt
Edward is a defence consultant working independently for various companies and governments. He has lived in Trieste since 2017 after moving with his family from London. Currently he also writes articles for various aerospace industry magazines, works with flight simulator game developers and corrects erroneous opinions in the FT comments sections like a Boss.

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