World-premiering in this year’s Forum program at Berlinale, The Secret Drawer (Il cassetto segreto) finds director Costanza Quatriglio returning to her childhood home in Sicily to explore the library and archive of her father Giuseppe Quatriglio. A major historical figure of the Giornale di Sicilia and other important newspapers––as well as a writer, essayist, and friend of intellectuals of the twentieth century––her film is built on the discovery of over 60,000 photographic negatives, dozens of 8mm reels, and hundreds of hours of sound recordings. Ahead of the premiere, we’re pleased to exclusively premiere the first trailer and poster.

Here’s the synopsis: “Costanza has a famous father. Giuseppe Quatriglio was a Sicilian journalist, author and globetrotter. Smart, hungry for life, good-looking. He filled a house with books, texts and mementos. It was in this rich environment that Costanza grew up. In 2010, she begins filming her father, without extra lighting, without prep, just him in his bathrobe. With one hand she hauls down the “1995-2001” box for him from the top shelf, with the other hand she holds the camera. Upon her father’s death she decides to make The Secret Drawer. She stays on and keeps filming – using both hands like a virtuoso. While she empties his house, the film jets through post-war Europe with her father and the world is revealed from a Mediterranean perspective, the daughter stays in the house, staging and performing her relationship with her father. His books and boxes are catalogued, his sense of order transferred. A powerful tidying up process, an upheaval. Yet in these moments of dissolution, a wealth is revealed – and a father. “This archive is showing us a much friendlier person than I thought.” One hand in world history, the other very close to her father himself.”

“Creating the film took shape from the intense work dedicated to my father’s library and archive, which began in January 2022 in preparation for the donation I made to the Sicilian Region,” Quatriglio says about her film. “The discovery of over 60,000 photographic negatives taken by my father from 1947 onwards, dozens of 8mm reels, and hundreds of hours of sound recordings made me realize that I had the extraordinary opportunity to create a film that would place a web of events and lived lives. The house where I grew up became the set for an elaborate tale that unfolds from its walls to embrace Sicily, Europe, and the world, spanning a century of history. In addition, I already filmed in my house between 2010 and 2011, having a dialogue with my nearly ninety-year-old father, and filming him among his books and papers. Through cinema, emptying his library became now an act of filling. Because the space, transforming over the months in front of the camera, becomes a protagonist itself, alongside the narrated events and the history of us all.”

See the exclusive trailer and poster below.

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