Documentary ‘Le Pantere della Polizia Italiana’ in next fase
It’s a wrap! For three days Mirko Cocco en Angelo van Schaik could ‘play’ with five beautiful historical police cars of the ‘Museo delle auto della Polizia di Stato’ in the centre of Rome and that resulted in many hours of video. Now it’s editing time.
The idea of the documentary ‘Le Pantere Nere della Polizia Italiane’ is to bring to live historical police cars through the personal stories of police officers. Unfortunately it wasn’t possible interview the policemen who actually drove the cars at the time, as many of them are not with us anymore. With the staff of Polizia di Stato a fruitful and creative collaboration was installed that made people stand out. Regularly the CineCars crew was touched while listening to the stories of police men who got into the shoes of their colleagues of decades ago.
‘La Pantere della Polizia Italiana’ comprises four decades of post-war Italian history through the police cars that drove around the country at the time. From the rubble of the Second World War that hit Italy hard until the grim seventies when political terrorism changed the country, and police work, profoundly.
The sun is shining abundantly when Mirko and Angelo arrive the first day at the ‘Museo delle auto della Polizia di Stato’ , dragging suitcases full of camera’s, tripods and microphones. After a quick cup of coffee, the first car of the day is rolled out of the museum, the sunlight is too beautiful not to use it. Coughing like an old man the 1943 Jeep Willy comes alive, a relic of the American invasion of Italy at het end of World War II and symbol of destruction and poverty. The Italian government didn’t have the means for their own police cars, so they used Jeeps the American army left behind. They did have some money for paint, the Jeeps became red.
After the American army vehicle it was time for the first ‘Pantera Nera’, the black Alfa Romeo 1900 SS that made life miserable for Italian crooks in the 1950s. Through the color, the for its time high top speed, and the catlike bodywork, got the car the nickname ‘black panther’. Italy was slowly landing on its feet after the war and got some its self esteem back. Italy is a nation again. The overture to ‘La Dolce Vita’ is reflected in the third car CineCars is able to film in the museum of the Italian police car: the 1964 Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint. The elegant aggressiveness of the car is is reinforced by the greenish-grey paint. Again the Italian police chooses a different colour, ‘a colour that should render reliability with the Italian population,’ says the police man who for the occasion is dressed in a 1960s uniform and who is amazingly good at projecting himself in his colleagues from that age.
Also the second day is sunlit, but most of the day the CineCars crew is working inside the museum. The guide of the ‘Museo delle auto della Polizia di Stato’ takes us on a tour of the museum. Only at the end of the morning the crew was able to play in the sunshine again. This time an Alfa Romeo Giulia 1600 Super is the playmate, according to many thé Italian police car. Protagonist in an enormous amount of 1970s Italian police movies, famous for its speed and maneuverability, but the highlight of the day, and maybe of the whole documentary, is the fifth and last car CineCars could run about with: a Ferrari 250 GT/E. Thé power symbol of the Italian police in the sixties, the car drove around Rome, mainly with one man behind the steering wheel: ‘maresciallo’ Armando Spatafora. For the ‘Pantere Nere della Polizia Italiana’ his daughter Carmen remembers her father who died in 1987.
At dawn crew and the Polizia di Stato staff who made this documentary possible gathered at the Circus Maximus. An antique race track where in Roman times there up until 25 chariot races a day. Today we are only going to circle around it at a slow pace.
Mirko Cocco professionally mounts the camera’s on the camera car. One GoPro at the front of the car and one at the back, a big one on the bonnet and Angelo van Schaik filming the driver of the classic police car from the passenger seat.
Up front a grey car with on board two policemen, the ‘Pantera Nera’ in the middle and the CineCars’ Alfa Giulietta QV at the back. A caravan that did attract some attention…
The Roman autumn sun helps to create beautiful images in different area’s of the city. The Alfa Romeo 2600 is taken for a ride in the pre war neighbourhood of Garbatella and het Alfa Romeo Giulia mixes with modern traffic in EUR, the district that Mussolini started to build in the 1930s for the 1942 World Exposition. The Exposition never happened, but EUR was finished anyway after World War II. EUR is a monument for rationalism architecture of the 1920s and 30s and is the ideal background for the Giulia. CineCars even takes the Jeep Willy out of the city, to the very spot where the American army entered Rome in 1943. The green environment contrasts beautifully with the red American army vehicle.
Mirko Cocco and Angelo van Schaik are very busy spotting the material and writing a story line. The Polizia di Stato, custodian of the ‘Pantere’, has offered the cooperation in the coming together of the documentary for free and will follow the next steps in the project from close by.
As soon as there is some news, you’ll read it here on Cinecars.nl