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Fiume o morte!

January 9, 2023


Fiume o morte!

fiume o morte

Fiume o morte!

2nd feature


Citizens of Rijeka (Fiume) retell, reconstruct and reinterpret the bizarre story about the 16-month occupation of their city in 1919 by the Italian poet, dandy and preacher of war Gabriele D’Annunzio.


In the aftermath of the First World War, the future of the Adriatic city of Fiume (Rijeka) was uncertain. Although it was claimed by both Italy and Yugoslavia, the politicians negotiating in Versailles assigned it to neither of them.

In September 1919, the flamboyant Italian poet and military officer Gabriele D’Annunzio entered the city and ruled it for the next 16 months while waiting for the Italian politicians to annex it to Italy. Realising nothing is going to happen, he decided to proclaim it a Regency of his own.

D’Annunzio was supported by thousands of young Italian soldiers, who took the occupation as a heroic artistic and patriotic adventure. For the politicians on all sides however, it was a disgrace, which they didn’t know how to solve without starting a bloodshed.

One of the most photographed events of the pre-war gets re-enacted and reshot on the streets of Rijeka, solely by its citizens. The story is told from the perspective of the participants of the film, in the local languages from the past and the present.

Director’s Profile

Igor Bezinović is a filmmaker born in Rijeka, which is now part of Croatia, but at that time belonged to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, before that partly the Kingdom of Italy and partly the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (and before that the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes), before that the Free State of Fiume, before that the Italian Regency of Carnaro, before that Austria-Hungary…

His films include The Blockade (Oktavijan prize for best Croatian documentary in 2012), Veruda (Oktavijan prize for best Croatian documentary in 2015) and A Brief Excursion (Big Golden Arena prize for best Croatian feature in 2017), along with many shorts of all shapes and sizes. His work has been shown internationally at events including IFF Rotterdam, DOK Leipzig, IDFF Jihlava, CPH:DOX, Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, Biennale of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean, Venice Biennale of Architecture (with Hrvoslava Brkušić for Pulska grupa), Museum of the Moving Image and the Guanajuato IFF.

He graduated in film directing at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb and in Philosophy, Sociology and Comparative Literature at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. He is a member of The Croatian Film Directors’ Guild and the judo club Black Belt.

Company Profile

Founded in 2007, Restart is an organization focused on production, education, distribution and exhibition of creative documentary films. Our films were screened at more than 350 international film festivals such as: Locarno Festival, IDFA, Hot Docs, Karlovy Vary IFF, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Fid Marseille, Zurich Film Festival, DOK Leipzig, Mar del Plata, Jihlava IDFF and many others… Serving as a creative hub for SEE region, Restart runs several film projects – documentary and fiction film production, distribution of documentary films, a documentary cinema and an educational program in documentary film.