A team, Domenico Procacci: “Davis Cup Italy, between Italian Comedy and Shakespearean drama"

The Sky Original docu-series Una Squadra arrives on TV on Sky Documentaries from May 14th at 9.15 pm, on demand and streaming on NOW; the first two episodes will also be broadcast on Sky Sport Uno on Sunday 15 May, immediately after the final of the Internazionali d’Italia: we met the cast at the presentation conference.

A team – The film: Tonino Zugarelli, Corrado Barazzutti, Paolo Bertolucci and Adriano Panatta

It is a story in the balance between the Italian Comedy and the Shakespearean drama“So Domenico Procacci, surprising director of the docuseries A team, speaks of the Italy of tennis in the seventies, the one that was played every year in the Davis Cup final. The team was made up of four players, four champions: Corrado Barazzutti, Paolo Bertolucci, Adriano Panatta, Tonino Zugarelli. Plus the non-player captain Nicola Pietrangeli. “We played on this thing, in them 4 you can find the characteristics of the actors of the Italian Comedy“said Domenico Procacci on the occasion of the launch of the docuseries (released, in the form of a film, also for three days at the cinema) a few weeks ago, at the Casa del Cinema in Rome.”Adriano Panatta is like Vittorio Gassman, Paolo Bertolucci like Ugo Tognazzi, Tonino Zugarelli like Nino Manfredi and Corrado Barazzutti like Stefano Satta Flores. Corrado is stiff and staid in his interviews, but in all the off-airs he is not at all. He is a bit like the character he chose“. The result, as you can imagine from these words, is truly irresistible. The docu-series Sky Original Una Squadra, produced by Fandango, Sky and Luce Cinecittà, after the passage to the cinema arrives on TV on Sky Documentaries from 14 May at 9.15 pm, and also available on demand and in streaming on NOW. The first two episodes of Una Squadra will also be broadcast on Sky Sport One Sunday 15 May, immediately after the final of the Internazionali d’Italia.

A story that has no conflict is not an interesting story

One Team The Movie 1

A team – The film: Adriano Panatta in a photo

From 1976 to 1980 Italy was the team to beat. In those five years our team reached the final four times, winning only in ’76 against Chile. The finals reached but then lost are in ’77 against Australia, in ’79 against the USA and in ’80 against Czechoslovakia. In ’76 and ’77 the team has as non-player captain an Italian tennis legend, Nicola Pietrangeli, who retired from competitive activity only a few years ago. Pietrangeli will be sacked by his players after the ’77 defeat in Australia. He considers it the greatest betrayal suffered in his life. “I thought there was a good story to tell“Domenico Procacci explained to us.”At first I thought about the victory in Chile and everything around it. But I wanted to learn more“.”They have won a lot, and it’s the four of them” continues. “Already from a sporting point of view it is a story that has not yet been told. He always stops at ’76. But I enjoyed telling the four of them, the relationships between them and the relationships with Nicola Pietrangeli. He is sometimes the protagonist, sometimes he is the antagonist. When I left I also played looking for contrasts. A story that has no conflict is not an interesting story. When I talked to Adriano I played Nicola’s side, I tried to provoke these reactions and to bring out the conflicts“. It is a successful choice. Because, skilfully pursued in interviews, our heroes manage to bring out human reactions, sincere, amusing. That the montage relates to each other, creating that Italian Comedy we were talking about at the beginning. .

Una Squadra, the review: The tennis of the seventies becomes Italian Comedy

I thought about a phone prank

One Team The Film 6

A team – The film: Paolo Bertolucci and Antonio Zugarelli in one scene

And the Commedia all’Italiana continues even after the screening, in the audience, because the four “my friends“they are like that, once together they tease and have fun.”The first time Domenico Procacci called me, I thought about a telephone joke” remember Paolo Bertolucci. “I was thinking of a person who pretended to be Domenico Procacci and I let him speak. I immediately called Adriano and said: ‘Did they call you too, or is it a joke?’ ‘No, it’s not a joke’ he replied. It seemed strange to me that he would come back out of this story, there had never been a twenty-year, a thirty-year Davis Cup victory. We never saw each other again“.

One Team The Movie 2

A team – The film: Corrado Barazzutti, Antonio Zugarelli, Adriano Panatta, Paolo Bertolucci, Nicola Pietrangeli

The ultimate tennis player to serve and volley

One Team The Film 5

A team – The film: Adriano Panatta in a scene

The most important thing is that we are reunited, we are almost back together“adds Adriano Panatta, a true protagonist in the docuseries and in the press conference.” We had lost sight of each other, each one did his job in different cities and there had been no occasions to commemorate this victory; nobody did. I had the opportunity to meet Domenico, and his tennis talent, we spent a few evenings together. I was telling some anecdote. And he had guessed that there were some funny stories “.”The passion for tennis, more than a passion is a disease“Panatta jokes.”Perhaps she loves him more than Kasia (Smutniak, Procacci’s partner, ed). And he remained the last tennis player to serve and volley“.

Una Squadra: Domenico Procacci’s docuseries on tennis Italy in 1976 in May at the cinema and on Sky

A film that does justice to a result that is still being talked about

One Team The Movie 1

A team – The film: Corrado Barazzutti during a scene

Domenico looked for me through a friend, he told me he wanted to meet me“Corrado Barazzutti remembers.”He came and I had him play tennis, and he asked me if I was interested in doing this thing. And I said no, right away“.”We met again after a year and I thought that even if I don’t like going back to the past, I would. Probably having had a wonderful time, a beautiful life, different from many other people, going back makes me sadder than happy. But it was a right decision: doing this docuseries was one of the best things. We have been apart for a long time and I am particularly happy because this docuseries has been important for our relationship that has been mended together, we are a team, with a film that does justice to a result that is still being talked about. It was a great result but not much talk about it“.”We were very lucky, we met a great person like Domenico“adds Tonino Zugarelli.”Thanks Domenico“.

One Team The Movie 4

A team – The film: Paolo Bertolucci and Adriano Panatta in an archive photo

A forgotten victory

One Team The Film 10

A team – The film: an archive photo

The victory of Italy in the Davis Cup is a strange case in the world of sport. It is a historic victory, which has however been almost forgotten over the years. “In all the most important tournaments in the world a victory like ours is remembered, celebrated“reflects Paolo Bertolucci.”Players who have won a Davis Cup are celebrated every year, they are given a space. It happens all over the world. It doesn’t happen here in Italy, in the most important tournament we have, the Foro Italico. It would be nice for an invitation letter to arrive, for there to be a space where young people could see the photographs, the films“. Adriano Panatta has very clear ideas as to why this victory was little, or never celebrated.”Before the final in Chile there was a position taken by Italian intellectuals“explains the former tennis player. “Dario Fo, Franca Rame, Domenico Modugno had influenced public opinion on the fact that we did not go to Chile. This influence remained even after the victory. And many media have abandoned the fact that they can celebrate a victory in a certain way. I remember the articles after the victory in certain newspapers, and this has lasted for years“.

In Rome The red shirt with Calopreste and Panatta

The red shirt

One Team The Film 9

A team – The film: Nicola Pietrangeli in a scene

A large part of public opinion, we know, did not want the Italy of tennis to play the final in Chile, where at the time there was the bloody dictatorship of the fascist regime of Pinochet. Our Davis team eventually went there. And, during the doubles match, on the second day of competitions, there was an act of protest against the crimes of the regime. He and Bertolucci, in the doubles match, wore a red shirt. At the moment nobody noticed: the journalists didn’t write about it, and on TV the game was seen in black and white. “Wearing the red shirt is a choice that Paolo Bertolucci and I personally made“says Adriano Panatta.”We didn’t share it with anyone. The captain and the federation didn’t notice. The press either noticed it and said nothing, which is very serious. Or she didn’t notice, and it’s just as bad. Nobody noticed it even after a week. And it has never happened that anyone has asked a question about the red shirt for 35 years“.

Leave a Comment