New Trailer For Italian Horse-racing Doc Palio

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New Trailer For Italian Horse-racing Doc Palio

by Phil de Semlyen |
Published on

As a producer who's already got the ball rolling on two terrific documentaries in Amy and Senna, James Gay-Rees' upcoming movies are well worth keeping an eye on. He may not have the public profile of his long-term collaborator Asif Kapadia, but he can sniff out a story and execute a smart non-fiction treatment on it. The latest is horse-racing doc Palio, which has a new trailer we're debuting below.

A race that unites and divides the Italian city of Siena, the Palio is an ancient tussle for supremacy between ten jockeys representing the city’s rival districts. It runs twice a year and anything – including whipping-based violence – goes in an event where six month’s bragging rights are at stake. Interestingly, riderless horses can still win the race. Not sure what a horse does with bragging rights, but its district sure gets to crow about it.

Even the great Federico Fellini once paid homage to the city-blockbuster. “You people of Siena have a precious thing,” he enthused, "and in the conflict between your districts lies the heart of your union”.

Tuscan director Cosima Spender focuses on Gigi Bruschelli, winner of 13 Palios and a cunning practitioner of the race’s anything-goes ethos, and his former protégé, the movie-star handsome Giovanni Atzeni. Expect a sideways look at the darker underbelly of Italian society along the way.

As you can see from the trailer, The New York Times calls it ‘Rocky on horseback’; we’re going for 'Romeo & Juliet meets The Hunger Games with more carrots”. Which is probably why they get the big bucks. You can catch Palio in UK cinemas from September 25.

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