Paolo De Chiesa, Giovanni Veronesi, Gustav Thoeni and Piero Gros

After the success of  “UNA SQUADRA (ONE TEAM)”,  a documentary returns to narrate the great Italian sport with “LA VALANGA AZZURRA” , a docufilm written and directed by Giovanni Veronesi.

The team from “Una squadra” is back at work to recount another glorious chapter of Italian sports in the 1970s. Exactly fifty years ago, after the historic feast in the giant slalom of Berchtesgaden (5 Italians in the top 5 positions), an expression was coined, “La valanga azzurra” (The Blue Avalanche), which still symbolizes a dominance unique in the history of Italian alpine skiing. The tale of this glorious saga is entrusted to an author and director who, on this occasion, reveals his past as an aspiring champion: Giovanni Veronesi.

Paolo De Chiesa and Giovanni Veronesi

“skiing is like writing without punctuation, without commas or periods, without constraints or erasers; skiing is touching absolute freedom, and turn after turn, with burning thighs, being happy. I’m a failed skier, my friends say. I say “failed.” I did nothing but ski until I was 14, race after race, to become a champion, and I didn’t make it. That’s the drive that convinced me to tell the story of the Blue Avalanche. Those are truly my idols, they are who I would have liked to be in life; they are Me inside. There’s snow in my memories, there’s always snow, and my brain turns white if I don’t stop remembering.”

Gustav Thoeni, Piero Gros, Paolo De Chiesa, Fausto Radici, Stefano Anzi, Giuliano Besson, Tino Pietrogiovanna, Erwin Stricker, Rolando Thoeni, Helmuth Schmalzl, Franco Bieler, Herbert Plank, Marcello Varallo, together with the legendary coach Mario Cotelli, become idols of a generation. Skiing, from a niche sport, becomes a mass phenomenon, pouring thousands onto the slopes, gluing enthusiasts to the television, and flourishing an economy that contributes to the affirmation of Made in Italy worldwide. A sporting whirlwind, revived by Giovanni Veronesi’s voice through the testimonials of the protagonists in a docufilm that traces its entire trajectory, from dawn to the inevitable sunset.

The troupe with Gustav Thoeni and Giovanni Veronesi

“La valanga azzurra” is the reconstruction of an exciting season that, as in the case of tennis, brings to the surface the conflict between the characteristics of Italian identity: reserve against bravado, instinct against sacrifice, comedy against tragedy. A tragedy, indeed, will put an end to that unrepeatable adventure: the fatal accident that occurred to the youngest member of the team, Leonardo David, in 1979, which kept him in a coma for many years until his death in 1985.

The docufilm, whose production is still ongoing, is produced by Domenico Procacci, written by Giovanni Veronesi, Sandro Veronesi, Domenico Procacci, Lorenzo Fabiano, and Luca Rea. Dimitri Chechi handles cinematography, and Riccardo Giannetti is in charge of editing. A Fandango production with Luce Cinecittà in collaboration with Rai Documentari.

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By Rome Central Redazione

The Rome Central - Italy in the world  editorial staff consists of freelance editors, journalists, photographers, filmmakers, doctors, writers, video-makers, supporters, poets, writers, actors, singers and many friends. RomeCentral is a Magazine completely no-profit , whoever writes in this magazine does his job without any commercial pressure. NB: No people in Rome Central, from managers to employees etc .., receive any type of compensation. The love for the free journalism repays all our efforts.

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