forma international

films & documentaries

Il respiro di Shlomo

Shlomo Venezia’s story starts in Greece, in Thessaloniki, within one of the biggest and most vital communities in the Mediterranean. It passes through the places which witnessed the black hole of 20th century history – Auschwitz, Birkenau, Ebensee, Mauthausen – and later brings the observer to Italy. The narration allows for an in-depth look at an almost untold dimension of the history of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the life of the Sonderkommando, that group of deportees - of which Shlomo was a member - who had the cruel task of working inside the extermination camps and were thus forced to live in close contact with the corpses and the horror of systematic slaughter. Recounting Shlomo’s life means dealing with complex issues that this documentary conveys with immediacy and strength.


Enrico Cattaneo Rumore Bianco

Ruggero Gabbai e Francesco Clerici

Enrico Cattaneo is and has been an experimenter and an eclectic photographer, his eye could hardly be categorized in one single field. He loved objects, he has been an art enthusiast his whole life and eventually became friend with all the artists who begun to ask for his services of portraitist more and more, even if Enrico started out with photo features and has been able to describe the outskirts of Milan like no one else.
Enrico’s house is covered from floor to ceiling with art works, while his life is marked by smoke puffs. This documentary is a picaresque jazz ballad on the notes of his works and of his private and public dimension, notes that are played throughout the silence of the ironic humanity of Enrico’s gaze. A gaze that has arrived at the end of its journey.

Ritorno al Binario

Liliana Segre, gli autori del CDEC Marcello Pezzetti e Liliana Picciotto e il regista Ruggero Gabbai a quasi trent’anni di distanza rievocano il momento in cui scoprirono il binario sotterraneo da cui migliaia di ebrei partirono verso i campi di sterminio. Cercando il giusto equilibrio, questo corto accosta le immagini d’archivio del 1996 alle nuove interviste, in un’operazione di giustapposizione immediata e rispettosa.


Una storia tunisina

The Tunisian Jewish community is one of the most ancient in the history of the diaspora, its presence in the country dates back to more than 2000 years. Through the direct testimonies of three generations of Tunisian Jews, the documentary retraces the milestones and pivotal moments of the coexistence between the Muslim and the Jewish population, riding along the delicate balance holding them together until the several waves of departure in the 20th century. The result of the narration is the reconstruction of a complex and multifaceted identity, torn between two deeply different countries: France and Tunisia. The film guides the observer in a quest, an attempt to find a sense of belonging, reconstructing the pieces of a painful yet truthful conversation which is common to many communities living in the countries of North Africa and Maghreb, resonating with the experience of many Mediterranean Jews. The nostalgic perspective filtered by the words of the oldest generations and the urge for re-appropriation displayed by the youngest are two sides of the same coin and they are contradicting and complementary at the same time. The film is questioning the idea of trauma and exile from both an historical and psychological point of view. The possibility of a return to Tunisia for the third and fourth generations opens a whole new range of opportunities to recover the Arab Jewish identity. The film is a journey taking place between France and Tunisia, reaching its climax when exploring the unique dimension of Djerba and its intact, original, Jewish life. Through the voices of Michel Boujenah, David Khayat, Felix Grey, Meyer Habib and many other witnesses, the film unveils that the roots of a need for success and self-affirmation lay in our origins, our background, our family, our traditions. Most of the Tunisian Jews today live between France and Israel, yet their gaze is still pointing at those very homes they left more than 50 years ago.


The last deception

In a journey through Naples, Rijeka, Trieste, Risiera di San Sabba, Auschwitz Kinderblock arriving lastly in the concentration camp of Neuengamme in Hamburg and the basement of Bullenhuser Damm school, the two sisters Tati and Andra Bucci recall the tragic events of their childhood which led them to deportation, recounting the story of their cousin, Sergio De Simone, who never came back from those places.

Kinderblock (2020) is a Forma International, Fondazione Museo della Shoah, Goren Monti Ferrari production in collaboration with Rai Cinema.


Play Video

Being Missoni

The telling of the sixty-five-year-old tale of this iconic brand unfolds through the memories of three generations of Missonis impassioned by an extraordinary communal undertaking. From the cult of the family to that of fashion, art and design.
With testimonials from Edward Enninful, editor-in-chief at British Vogue; Tim Blanks, editor-at-large at Business of Fashion; Patricia Urquiola, architect and designer; Mariuccia Casadio, art consultant and contributor at Vogue Italia; Angelo Flaccavento, fashion critic and Rachel Hayes, artist.

Produced by Michele Bongiorno’s Good Day Films and Sky Arte and directed by Ruggero Gabbai.


In 1969 Architect Vittorio Gregotti designed the Zen area in Palermo, aiming at an innovative housing style in order to dive the outskirts of Palermo into modernity, in a time when Italy’s economy was developing and thriving.

Forty years later, Director Ruggero Gabbai enters the neighborhood and its inhabitant’s homes. While collecting their testimonies, he realizes that the gap which divides the Milanese architect’s intentions and the actual social impact that his project had: ZEN is a neglected island and the daily life of who lives there is a solitary struggle full of humanity.

CityZEN (2015) is a Forma International production in collaboration with Sicilia Film Commission and Regione Sicilia.
The film has been presented in Festival del Cinema di Taormina official selection and at Sguardi Altrove Film Festival in Milan.

The Longest Journey

The Jews of Rhodes were caught unprepared when the Nazis ordered their deportation on July 23, 1944. Italian authorities stood idly by as nearly the entire Jewish population of the island was rounded up and put on boats for the long and arduous journey from the sun-kissed Mediterranean to the hellish gates of Auschwitz. Of the approximately 1,800 Jews forced from their homes, only 151 survived.

Director Ruggero Gabbai accompanies three of the survivors – Stella Levi, Sami Modiano and Albert Israel – as they return to Rhodes to recount cultural interactions with Greeks, Turks and Italians; as well as unexpected horrors that awaited them.

The longest journey (2013) is a Forma International production.

The film has been presented in the Chamber of Deputies and it has been presented at the Jerusalem Film Festival, the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, the Seattle Jewish Film Festival and the Sephardic Film Festival in New York.

The Raid

Rome, October 16th 1943

On October 16th 1943 the Nazi forces arrested 1250 Jews and deported them in the extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Only 16 of them came back. In this documentary the voices of those who survived – collected by CDEC for Archivio della Memoria – join the never-seen testimonies of those who managed to flee the raid during that tragic night.

The Raid – Rome, October 16th 1943 (2018) is a Forma International and Fondazione Museo della Shoah Production in collaboration with Rai Cinema with the support of Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri, Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale, Ministero dei Beni Culturali, Regione Lazio, Roma Capitale – Assessorato alla Crescita Culturale, UCEI, Associazione figli della Shoah, CDEC, Comunità Ebraica di Roma.

La Razzia - Rome, 16 October 1943 is a Forma International production and the Museo della Shoah Foundation in collaboration with Rai Cinema.

The film has been presented in the Chamber of Deputies for the 75th anniversary of the raid of the Roman Jewish quarter. It has been presented at Festa del cinema di Roma and it was selected for the Nastro d’Argento prize for the best documentary.



The last exodus

Libya, the last exodus is a documentary portraying the life of the thriving Jewish community in Libya and in its capital, Tripoli. Starting from the period of the Italian colonization and passing through a series of foreign dominations, the movie depicts the life of the Libyan Jews, a life of cohabitation with the Arabs, a difficult coexistence often interrupted by outburst of rage and hatred towards the Jewish community during the Postwar period.
La comunità ebraica, insediatasi in Libia per secoli, conviveva con la popolazione araba della Libia, una convivenza solo in apparenza pacifica la cui fragilità si manifestava con lo scoppio di episodi di violenza, il più importante dei quali fu il pogrom del 1948, avvenuto come diretta conseguenza della creazione dello stato di Israele. La comunità, sopravvissuta alle due guerre, abbraccia la ripresa economica del boom petrolifero nel paese e si accentua il suo carattere di multiculturalità. La situazione sotto il regno di Re Idris sembra dare agli ebrei di Libia una speranza per un rinnovato benessere e una pacifica coabitazione che vede bruscamente la fine con la rapida diffusione dell’ideologia panaraba e il colpo di stato di Gheddafi. Gli ebrei sono costretti alla fuga.