Cinema, Carla Fracci’s son: “My mother belonged to everyone, I would have wanted her to be more present”

‘Codice Fracci’ by Daniele Luchetti is being released in cinemas. Francesco Menegatti: “It would be reductive to call her an artist, she was a precious stone, a granite and multifaceted woman, at home like a feather, an enveloping cloud. Convinced that my mother was human and intellectual capital that was exploited little, perhaps too late. The story will judge.”

“A precious, granite stone, we continue to discover all the most unspeakable, highest facets, her complexity as a woman and an artist. Perhaps it would be reductive to define my mother as an ‘artist’. It’s like a cloud that envelops you.” Francesco Menegatti, son of Carla Fracci, the great ‘divine’ who passed away in Milan on 27 May 2021, speaks to Adnkronos in the present tense, before the release of Daniele Luchetti’s film ‘Codice Carla’ (an Anele production with Luce Cinecittà and Rai Cinema) in theaters from today, for three days only. “I’m very happy with this job – he adds – Daniele Luchetti is a man of profound sensitivity, it wasn’t difficult to get in tune with him. It was difficult to talk about my mother immediately after her passing, I made a great effort, I don’t I deny.”

Not a biography, ‘Codice Carla’, rather a retracing of her career through interviews, extracts from ballet pieces, with the aim of inspiring young people thanks to her singular and extraordinary experience, thanks to the presence, among others, of Roberto Bolle and Eleonora Abbagnato, Carolyn Carlson, Alessandra Ferri, her husband and director Beppe Menegatti, Marina Abramovic and Jeremy Irons. We talk about dance, of course (“In dance there is not only technique – explains Carla Fracci in the film – but there is a style that is acquired with hard work”), especially privately. Her son reveals: “For my mother, the house was a sort of refuge, a sanctuary that needed to be preserved. She didn’t like hotels, rather she liked being with her family, silent at home, light as a feather. An apparently normal person, has remained steadfast beyond the myth”.

“With Daniele Luchetti’s film, a chapter of my life closes, a moment that I would define as ‘lapidary’ – Francesco Menegatti, architect, university professor, continues in the interview with Adnkronos – Returning home after the screening of ‘Codice Carla’ , I put on the music of The Doors ‘The End’, I hope new and equally intense scenarios will open up. With my wife I remembered this very colorful and particular family, made up of travels, departures and returns, with some problems, sometimes dotted of profound solitude, sometimes of suffering. My mother belonged to everyone – he continues – I would have wanted her to be more present. I often felt her distance. My mother was a work of art even though she lived everything with absolute humility”.

Francesco Menegatti confesses that he did not want to see the first film dedicated to his mother, ‘Carla’, directed by Emanuele Imbucci, released in 2021, a few months after the death of the great étoile. “This film was already very hard and impactful. It’s still too early… Difficult moments to face. There is a sort of tug of war in me between what my mother was and her unconditional reflection on her character, a symbol for many. Maybe what I need now is a bit of silence, a pause for reflection to then reposition myself on the starting blocks. I am convinced that my mother was a human and intellectual capital that was exploited little, perhaps too late. History will judge.”

And he launches an appeal: “Let someone come forward who can carry out a project for a large exhibition of works dedicated to my mother, costumes, we have about 150 and the last gift is that of Mario Brancato, he gave us the dress of Medea worn by my mother in a creation by John Butler danced alongside Mikhail Baryshnikov with the American Ballet Theatre. I have a clear image of that ballet, for a few moments I was transported into a moment of absolute sweetness, despite the talk of Medea, not the best of mothers.”

“I kept my mother’s entire dressing room in a bag – continues Francesco Menegatti – I would like it to be rebuilt. A sort of ritual for my mother, when she entered she would arrange the objects in a certain position… Then there is the mirror, the frames , the tricks. Moments of absolute solemnity which are those of the actor preparing to enter the stage. Very high and cathartic moments – he explains further – Perhaps higher than the performance itself. I have experienced them hundreds and hundreds of times with my mother sitting in the dressing rooms, perhaps absorbed in my things, suspended moments… Until the music started. Unrepeatable sensations.”