The play, written by Marina Allegri and directed by Maurizio Bercini, is a tribute to the Resistance against Nazis and fascism. It is inspired by one of the most tragic episodes of the Italian partisan struggle: on 28 December 1943, on their farm near Reggio Emilia, the seven sons of the partisan Alcide Cervi were shot by the Fascist Republicans. Even today, the house of the seven brothers, called Casa Cervi, is a strong symbol of the partisan struggle, where every 25th of April the feast of the liberation from the Nazis and fascism is celebrated. Through the use of object theatre, the play gives voice to the images that nourish the memory of this place, through the gifts that, over the years, have been sent to Alcide Cervi, who survived the shooting of his sons at the age of seventy. With each object presented, a part of his life’s story is recounted, in which words, music and gestures intervene, interspersed with the verses of certain poets (Franco Arminio, Giuseppe Ungaretti, Mario Luzi, and Tom Waits).
Remembering the victims of a massacre
Alcide Cervi was a farmer. In 1934 he moved with his family to Gattatico, near Reggio Emilia, on a piece of land called Campirossi ("red fields"), which nobody wanted because it was infertile. He lives there with his nine children: seven boys and two girls. With hard work, they manage to make these fields prosper, and the family can afford to buy a tractor. The Cervi family is known for their anti-fascist political positions. After July 1943, when the Americans landed and Mussolini was arrested, all seemed well. But in November of the same year, a hundred fascists besieged the Campirossi house. The seven brothers try to resist, but they are arrested and eventually executed. As a sign of support and respect, Alcide Cervi never ceased to receive gifts from all sides: a Bible from the Fiat factory workers in Turin, a globe from the agricultural cooperative workers in Santa Vittoria, skittles for his grandchildren from some friends of the boules club. Finally, the puppeteer himself, Maurizio Bercini, wants to give Alcide a gift: a puppet with his features, with which he can transform pain 'into serenity and play'.