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"Raffa," the docu-film on Raffaella Carrà, hits theaters today

To trace the history of the iconic showwoman

Raffa, the docu-film on Raffaella Carrà, hits theaters today To trace the history of the iconic showwoman

What's behind the only real pop icon (besides Mina) ever in Italian showbiz? Raffa, Daniele Luchetti's documentary celebrating Raffaella Carrà's 80th birthday, which will be released in cinemas from 6to 12 July and will soon be shown on Disney+ (in three parts), gives us a deliberately elusive answer to this question. Using archive footage and interviews with celebrities and colleagues such as Rosario Fiorello, Tiziano Ferro, Enzo Paolo Turchi and Bob Sinclair, but also with people who were by her side for a long time, such as her personal assistant, her nanny, her grandson or Barbara Boncompagni, the daughter of Gianni, Raffaella's first great love, the film reconstructs the public and private life of an unyielding, ambitious, determined self-made woman who never wanted to reveal too much about herself.

The film begins with the announcement of her death on 5 July 2021 and then goes back to the beginning, to her childhood in Bellaria-Igea Marina, when her dance teacher crushes her dream of becoming a dancer because of her weak ankles and amateur technique. She then goes to Rome with her mother, tries her hand at film, gets noticed by Sinatra and ends up in Hollywood, but feels crushed by the American star system and returns to Italy. She starts from scratch again, as she will do so many times. She tries TV and makes her debut in a RAI programme in 1969. This is the beginning of a great career with Tuca Tuca, unveiled navels that revolutionised the country's costume, tongue-in-cheek songs about free love, inclusion, LGBTQI+ and female empowerment, surprising family reunions, beans to count, lots of dancing and iconic looks. In between are the Spain that makes her an international diva, the spectre of paternal neglect, her relationship with a hypercritical mother, plenty of successes and a professional life full of new beginnings, sweat and toil.

Everything revolves around Carrà, this beloved public persona, hard and carefully constructed. Even to the detriment of "Pelloni"," i.e. Raffaella Pelloni, the girl who grew up in the province of Romagna dreaming of becoming a dancer and who proved to everyone that it's not weak ankles that matter to become a real diva but, to quote Raffa herself, "good kneecaps." But also talent and great willpower.