Benigni in Sanremo on the Constitution: “My favorite article is 21”

Benigni in Sanremo on the Constitution: “My favorite article is 21”

SAN REMO. The first guest of the Sanremo 2023 Festival is Roberto Benigni, announced today surprisingly, in conjunction with the arrival in the audience of the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella, an event that had never happened in Sanremo. The actor welcomes him «with all my esteem and admiration. It’s a joy for me to be here.” Then he jokes with him: «You are in your second term, Amadeus is in your fourth and has already booked your fifth, is it constitutional? President we must stop him! He’s already thinking of marching on Sanremo, we need to stop him, it’s a dictatorship. But we forgive him everything because he is truly an extraordinary person and a great artistic director. The fact that he managed to have the President of the Republic in Sanremo for the first time proves it ». And again, making fun of the length of Amadeus’ Sanremo: «President, have they warned you how long the Festival lasts? At two in the morning we are halfway through. He is not forced to stay until the end … ».

We are at a music festival, the director of La vita è bella knows it well: «Music is the queen of the arts, all the arts tend towards music. Sometimes light music is relegated to a small place in the history of art, but light music has a huge place in the sentimental history of mankind. Sanremo has enveloped the soul of all of us, of all generations, the songs are like this, they get inside you. Federico Fellini said “music is dangerous because it gets inside you”, and it is so, it is a link between the concrete and the abstract. And as Don Quixote says where there is music there can be nothing bad».


Benigni was called by Amadeus to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Italian Constitution and it is here that the actor starts with a heartfelt monologue full of affection and admiration for the Charter, which also saw Bernardo Mattarella, father of the President, among its drafters. When Benigni mentions him, the Head of State brings his hand to his heart. «This edition is special because it falls on the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Constitution – he recalls -, and the Constitution is closely linked to art, the Constitution is a work of art and every word releases an evocative and revolutionary force, because it throws erasing the oppression and violence that was there before, makes us feel that we live in a country that can be just and beautiful, that we can live in a better world. It is a dream fabricated by awake men, and it is something that can happen once in the history of a people. “I think a dream like this will never come back” fits our Constitution. They did it in a very short time, they were visionaries, and it was a miracle because they were 556 from many parties, divided on everything except one thing: being united to write the most beautiful constitution”. Benigni recalls how the Charter thinks of today and tomorrow: «And it does not address the present society but looks to the future. The Constitution forgets no one. They made the most beautiful constitution imaginable. Think of article 11 “Italy repudiates war”. If all the countries had adopted it, there would no longer be war on Earth”.

However, there is one part that Benigni particularly loves because it brings with it the freedom that arrived after fascism: «My favorite article of the Constitution is number 21, and it says one thing in simple language that seems written by a child: everyone has the right to freely express one’s thoughts. And if they wrote it, it means that it was needed. For me it is the architrave of everything. Previously, during the Fascist period it was not possible to think freely, and neither could the Sanremo Festival have been held. Even today in some countries people are imprisoned just because they dance or sing, not far from us. The only way to do something about the future is to have the past always present, and to remind ourselves that what we have can always be taken away from us».

Now it’s up to us: «The founding fathers and mothers left the last blank page, because we had to write it, with our lives. The Constitution is not only to be read, but to be loved, it must be brought into force every day. They paved the way and left us only one thing to do: make this dream come true».

In the end, Sergio Mattarella and his daughter Laura, sitting next to him, stood up to applaud him. And with them came the standing ovation of the entire Ariston theater audience.

Source link