Filmatique |

Il Solengo

// Presented as part of Filmatique's Opera Prima Italiana Series //

Exclusive Interview with Alessio Rigo de Righi & Matteo Zoppis

Exclusive Essay: The State of Italian Cinema - Five Young Auteurs

Exclusive Essay: Evocative Beauty and the Puzzle of Identity in Opera Prima Italiana

Exclusive Essay: Dreaming Around the Archive in Il Solengo

Spotlight on Il Solengo



Alessio Rigo de Righi & Matteo Zoppis / Italy, 2015 / Turin, Doclisboa, Cinéma du Reél, Göteborg, Montreal, Rotterdam, São Paulo, Tirana, Vienna, Lincoln Center's Art of the Real / 80'


Outside of Rome, a group of elders gathers in a hunting lodge and recalls the life of Mario de Marcella, a man who lived in a cave for more than 60 years of his life.  Why he chose to live a solitary existence is unknown, though the men seem fond of conjecture.  Those who saw him while hunting referred to him as "il Solengo"— the male boar who lives away from the pack.  Some say he was crazy, others say he wasn't. They all agree, however, that he never spoke to anyone.


The first feature from Italian documentary filmmakers Alessio Rigo de Righi and Matteo Zoppis not only captures a spartan way of life rarely depicted in mainstream Italian cinema— it is a mysterious, timeless meditation on the aesthetics of absence and an investigation into the form of narrative itself.  Il Solengo premiered at Rotterdam, Göteborg, São Paulo, Vienna, and both Turin and Doclisboa, where it won Best Film.


"Alessio Rigo de Righi and Matteo Zoppis' Il Solengo (rural slang for a wild boar purged from its pack) studies not the titular hermit that is its ghostly structuring absence, but rather the peanut gallery of Italian villagers who speculate about his identity and reasons for fleeing from civilization.... Il Solengo is nonetheless uniquely guided by one of the burning questions posed by the Art of the Real series: How can films interrogate the very forms they inhabit, in turn encouraging their viewers to engage actively with the content they're being fed?"

- Carson Lund, Art of the Real ReviewSlant Magazine