Letter from Pupi Avati to the President of RAI: For a cultural reinassance

Director Pupi Avati, winner of a David di Donatello award for best director in 2003 with “Il cuore

altrove”, wrote a letter to the President of Rai, Italy’s broadcasting network, in which memories become the heart and soul of a possible cultural transformation.  

With the hope that this period of lockdown might leave us with a better country.

A letter which stems from the intimacy of thoughts which belong to many of us at this time, and which only an artist can describe with just a few touches, taking us into another world.

“I sleep more in the morning, in the profound and cemetry-like silence of a dead city. Due to my

age I belong to the category which is more at risk of dying. Yet, in this deadly silence, so sacred and

mysterious we understand how small we are, how big our cowardice. And we are moved by the

awareness that people are risking their lives in order to save us.”

The cinematographer’s metaphor

“I felt something similar to what the 1950s cinematographer felt when the film strip snapped and

you immediately found yourself hurled out of the story which was transporting you away from the squalor of your daily life.

“Tell me when it starts again” I would say to my mother keeping my eyes shut and praying that those in the cabin would piece the film back together again fast.

So that I could return to that magical world as quickly as possible.”

 Life as we knew it has come to a standstill, as if holding its breath and closing its eyes, waiting for

the moment to pass, when we can return to living again.

Avati will not stand still. In his heartfelt letter he explains his wish, as a citizen and as an

artist, as someone who has understood the value of time:

we should make the most of this suspension to get ready to start again, having set the

foundations to do better than we did before.


A possible cultural renaissance

“why don’t we revolutionize TV programming to finally include great films, great classical music

concerts, as well as jazz and pop, documentaries on the lives and works of great painters, great

sculptors, great architects, readings of books by great writers, prose, poetry, dance, whey don’t we

give millions of viewers the possibility of finding out there is more, other than the sterile babble of

the shows hosting the usual Vips and commentators?

Why don’t we plan a programming schedule which will make advertisers’ hair stand on its ends!


Why don’t we use this special opportunity to bring cultural growth to the nation, overturning old

parameters and based on the therapeutic effect of beauty?

My appeal goes out to the President, the Director General Director and the Board of Directors of

RAI, that they might carry out such an ambitious and yet inexpensive project.“

“A project which, once the film in the booth will have been put together again, will help us be

better and more aware than we were when the movie was suddenly interrupted.


And then we can open our eyes.”


You can see the original letter here: