Rocìo Muñoz Morales describes Rita Pisano in the fourth episode of “Donne di Calabria”

Publication date
11 July 2022

On Tuesday 12 July at 10.10 p.m., the docu-series “Donne di Calabria”, a co-production Calabria Film Commission and Anele, in collaboration with Rai Cultura, produced by Gloria Giorgianni with Emma Di Loreto, from a production idea by Giovanni Minoli, continues in its premiere on Rai Storia.

Rocìo Muñoz Morales is the protagonist of the fourth episode directed by Enzo Russo and dedicated to Rita Pisano, mayoress of Pedace from 1966 to 1984, the year in which she died, at the height of her administrative commitment.

Between the 1940s and 1950s, Rita Pisano began her political career by becoming a leader of the Communist Party in Cosenza, which she had joined from a very young age, provincial secretary of the CNA and municipal councillor in Cosenza. She was one of the members of the Calabrian delegation that took part in the World Peace Congress in Paris in 1949, where she recounted the struggles of the Calabrian peasants. There she met Renato Guttuso and Pablo Picasso, who were impressed by her speech, her passion and her personality, so much so that Picasso portrayed her ‘shining’ face and entitled it “La jeune fille de Calabre”, making it from a pencil sketch. A mother of six children and a woman in politics, she made herself available to the country by being equally committed to her family and militancy, embracing both the public and private spheres and encouraging women to do the same. When she became mayor of Pedace in 1966, she initiated a policy of modernising the town’s facilities – roads, public toilets, sports facilities, the school canteen, the all-day school – and established the first library for women, the “Biblioteca Donne Bruzie”, a symbol of her veneration for culture and art. In the 1970s, she initiated the “Incontri Silani”, thanks to which cultural figures such as Renato Guttuso, Carlo Levi and Raphael Alberti came to Calabria. During her political career, in 1975, she had internal conflicts within the Italian Communist Party, from which she was expelled. Hence his decision to start the autonomous ‘Wake Up’ list that won the municipal elections in opposition to the PCI. A protagonist in the struggles for the emancipation of women, she suffered trials and arrests for violating the old Testo Unico delle leggi di pubblica sicurezza (Consolidated Law on Public Security), which was later partially abolished by the Constitutional Court.

The narration uses archive images and films, animated illustrations and interviews with witnesses from the worlds of culture, politics and civil society, including the President of the Nilde Iotti Foundation Livia Turco, the writer Rosella Postorino, the historian Enzo Ciconte, the journalist Ida Dominijanni, the grandson of the owner of the PCI house Eduardo Salvatore Zumpano, his children Agatina Sandra and Giuseppe Giudiceandrea, the bell-ringer of the Parish of San Donato V. M from Casali del Manco Francesco Leonetti, his granddaughter Maria Maddalena Radoni and the head of the Biblioteca Donne Bruzie Maria Francesca Lucanto. As a backdrop to the story, the places in Calabria where Rita lived and worked: in addition to Pedace, Casali del Manco, Lake Arvo and the Sila National Park in Lorica.

“Donne di Calabria” is a co-production Calabria Film Commission and Anele, in collaboration with Rai Cultura. A docu-series in 6 episodes of 50′ each produced by Gloria Giorgianni with Emma Di Loreto, from a production idea by Giovanni Minoli. The episode with Rocìo Muñoz Morales on Rita Pisano is directed by Enzo Russo and scripted by Celeste Costantino.