Il Re Fanciullo / Portrait of the King as a Child (trailer)

Il Re Fanciullo / Portrait of the King as a Child

A film by Alessandra Lancellotti
Produced by Caucaso and Tempestade
International distribution Ant!dote Sales
(ITA, POR; 67'; 2013-2023)


Once upon a time, there was a castle on a mountain, with a man inside. The man placed all the conflict and all the beauty of the world inside the castle. As a redemption from the trauma of fascism, he dedicated his life to the creation of an art cenacle, a century following the landscape painting Movement pioneered by Alfredo de Andrade.


Producer Stefano Migliore, João Pedro Amorim
Executive producer Davide Paludetto
Artistic supervision Enrico Masi
cinematography and sound Alessandra Lancellotti, Enrico Masi
Editing Carlotta Guaraldo, Enrico Masi
Musicians Héctor Cavallaro, Laura Loriga, Nicola Negrini, Daniela Pes
Mixage Jacopo Bonora
Color grading Danilo Monte
Director’s assistant Tecla Chiomio
Production assistant Alice Solinas
Graphic design Ludovica Sechi, Virginia Sellari, Tomas Rigoni
production by CAUCASO SOC COOP

Long Synopsis

It was 1983 when Franz Paludetto bought the Rivara Castle at the foot of the Piedmont Alps. With him began a season of patronage that once again consecrated this place as an outpost for experimentation in contemporary art. A century earlier a coterie of artists had begun a pictorial revolution on landscape painting, based on real life: from all over Europe they had come to found the Rivara School. Among them was Alfredo D'Andrade. The Portuguese painter, also a restorer of the castle, later became an architect known throughout Europe. In search of his drawings, a young artist discovered the private dimension of that space, which has now become an expanded museum. In this place suspended in the combination of beauty-decadence, the girl meets Franz, the current castellan, and urges him to imprint her memories on film. While the great achievements of Italy in the second half of the 20th century are evoked, an intimate confession also emerges: since the country had opened up to new social perspectives after the war, Franz had decided to devote his entire existence to the pursuit of beauty as redemption from the trauma of fascism. Over the course of a decade-long narrative, we see the young woman grow up as the gallery owner, who takes over her memories, approaches death.

Notes from the director

Portrait of the King as a Child is a documentary and, at the same time, a fairy tale. It investigates the origins and transformations of the Rivara Castle through the human events of those who inhabited it throughout history. After several decades of fervent cultural activity, the place has entered a phase of rest, accommodating the old age of its castellan, Franz Paludetto. The gaze on him, chosen as the narrative body, attempts to capture the ordinariness of his biography in such an extraordinary architecture, for the creation of a work-testament. The intent of the film is also to connect the characters of the present to those of the past and the future, operating in the stratigraphy of time as in an archaeological excavation to sublimate their memory. Three different segments of history are thus recovered: the experience of the Cenacle of painting at the end of the nineteenth century, which had invented a peculiar green for those subalpine landscapes; the arrival of Franz, a century later, who saved the castle from a building speculation project and brought art back inside; the residence of the last artist, guest at the castle in the decade that ended with the death of the protagonist. Between documentary urge and introspective investigation, the film is made with filmic devices of the past, 16mm film and magnetic tape, to range between archive fragments and a dreamy vision of contemporary reality.