The idea for my and Angela Ricci Lucchi’s film Frente a Guernica (Director’s Cut) arose from our visit to the Museo Reina Sofía on the occasion of the screening of Pays Barbare in 2014. Our sensations on seeing Picasso’s Guernica, after the work’s return from exile, prompted us to look through the materials on Spain in our possession and described in our notebooks. We did not have Robert Flaherty’s 35mm film, which was at the MoMA in New York, where Guernica had spent a long time. The film was given to us by the Museo Reina Sofía.
In the film Frente a Guernica (Versione integrale), while Lucrezia Lerro, one of the two narrators, talks about the “case” of Osip Mandelstam, I read from the diary of Mikhail Koltsov on the arrival of the writers for the congress, as well as all the other captions of Frente a Guernica (Versione integrale). This is the film that Angela Ricci Lucchi and I conceived and made together. Today I am keeping, once again, the promise I made to Angela, that of continuing our political, artistic and historical work on the violence of the 20th century.