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Still Bella ciao

Bella Ciao

Giulia Giapponesi / CIV, 2022 / 92 min.

Did the Italian partisans really sing “Bella ciao” during their struggle against fascism? The focus here is on the magic of a song that has captured the imagination of the world, with archive footage, interviews and music.

poster IDFA 2022

For decades, wherever people have fought against injustice, they have sung “Bella ciao.” It is said to have been the anthem of Italian partisans fighting against fascism in the Second World War, but there are those who doubt the truth of this. The origins of the song are unclear. Was it a folk song favored by exploited workers in the rice fields in Italy? The accounts of various speakers are richly illustrated with archive material.

Ultimately, the song’s origins are less important than what it means to the people who sing it. A Kurdish woman talks about the magical moment she first heard “Bella ciao” as a child, when it was sung during a demonstration—in the banned Kurdish language. In the film, the song connects the struggles for liberation by different generations in various countries. The main focus is on Italy, Turkey and Iraq, all countries in which democracy is under attack to a greater or lesser degree.

This is part of



Giulia Giapponesi

Production year




Original title

Bella Ciao – A Song for Revolutions


92 min.


Italian, Turkish, Arabic, Spanish, English

Part of

IDFA 2022

Documentary lovers, keep 9 through 20 November free in your calendar. The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam presents its 35th edition in cinemas throughout Amsterdam, including several special programmes in Eye.

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