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Cinema, History & Politics

Let’s Kiss

Franco Grillini - History of a Gentle Revolution

April 17, 2023
6:30 pm


Documentary Screening
Let’s Kiss
Franco Grillini – History of a Gentle Revolution

(Italy, 2021, 85 min.)

In ITALIAN with ENGLISH subtitles

Directed by
Filippo Vendemmiati

Followed by a conversation with:
Franco Grillini
Filippo Vendemmiati
Rachel Love, NYU
Brian DeGrazia, Independent scholar

The film is about Franco Grillini, a somewhat late-blooming gay politician from Bologna, born in 1955 into a farming family, with a degree in education, who has always been active in the fight for the recognition of gay, lesbian, and transsexual civil rights. Through the story told directly by its protagonist, the biopic, with a light tone and using original documentary material, reconstructs over thirty years of political history, bearing witness to a tough and gentle fight in the name of dignity and equality. This journey – also a sentimental one – touches upon the places of Grillini’s life: from his birth home in the country to his university, from the headquarters of old parties that no longer exist to Parliament, as well as in the streets and squares of Gay Pride parades, from Rome to New York.

The stages in Franco Grillini’s life are punctuated by struggles and victories – from the tragic AIDS years, marked by death and the stigmatizing of homosexual relations, to the first same-sex marriages, and the still-ongoing battle for stepchild adoption – but also the evolution of the approach to a topic which still today, even though it concerns millions of people, is strongly divisive if not ignored. Grillini talks about public and private aspects with serenity and humor, in a language that his Bolognese accent transforms into a musical lilt, about his firm yet serene hope for a future without lives lived in fear of social stigma, for the right to health, and the full expression of love and affection.

This film collects stories of love and political battles, both inside and outside of Parliament, insuppressible driving forces for change and a zest for life.