Cecilia Mangini focus, led by Carolina Astudillo

In a context such as the Social Sciences, where the dominant discourse is androcentric, and in the world of filmmaking, where the presence of women directors at festivals is still unequal, the organisation of MICE considers that it is necessary to reinforce the presence of films made and/or produced by women. his section is, therefore, a carte blanche invitation for women film and audiovisual professionals who programme films made by female directors or a focus or retrospective on a filmmaker of special interest for the festival’s aims.

In this edition we will have a Cecilia Mangini focus, led by the filmmaker Carolina Astudillo, who considered the Italian filmmaker one of her essential references when it came to approaching her own cinematographic work. She will relate Mangini’s work to her own work, which has already been screened at previous editions of the MICE.


Mangini was born in 1927 in Moli di Bari, in the Italian region of Apulia. She was the daughter of a leather manufacturer who was forced to emigrate to Florencia when his business went bankrupt. Mangini was an extraordinary documentary filmmaker who stood out for her social denunciation films, in some of which Pier Paolo Pasoline, her friend and collaborator, took part. The dean of the Italian documentary film passed away in 2021 at the age of 93, leaving us audiovisual and photographic projects that boosted Italian neorealism. Some considered Cecilia Mangini “the Italian Agnes Varda”. Both of them, who had a late friendship, have things in common: they are women in a masculine world, politically committed, who made their way into the cinema in the 1950s through photography and who continued filming until the end.

Mangini’s films portray the margins of an Italy that is entering a dizzying process of industrialisation after the war. While the official narrative focuses on modernity and the future, her films focus on male and female workers, male and female peasants, endangered rural rituals and suburban rites. Mangini’s cinema can be located on the border of two worlds, the industry and the factory world—still the one and only alternative to poverty—and the misery of the peasantry. In these times of rupture with the oldest traditions and the creation of a new world, Mangini looks at those society failures, at their hypocrisies and at what they do to the most disadvantaged people by society: women, the poor, the misfits or the rebels.

The Cineteca di Bologna and the Instituto Italiano di Cultura have collaborated in the programming of this focus.

Carolina Astudillo Muñoz

She’s filmmaker, researcher, and teacher. She’s got a degree in Cinematographic Studies from Universidad Católica de Chile and a Master’s degree in Creative Documentary from Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. She has developed and focused her work on historical research, documentary creation and writing, and women and historical memory have been her pivotal theme.

Her first feature film, El gran vuelo (2014), was recognized with the Silver Biznaga Award for Best Documentary at Málaga’s Film Festival (2015); the same recognition that received her second feature film, Ainhoa, yo no soy esa (2018). Besides, her shortfilms De monstruos y faldas (2008), The Unspeakable (2012), El deseo de civilización: Notas para El gran vuelo (2014) and A Walk Through New York Harbor (2019) were awarded and screened at national and international festivals. Since 2016 she has been a member of the Spanish Academy of Arts and Film Sciences (AACCE).

SESsioN 1


Tickets: NUMAX´s ticket office or website.

Fotograma Esa fugaz esencia que dejaron los sucesos


Carolina Astudillo

Spain, 2022

14 min. OV

[Galician Premier]

Walter Benjamin defined the trace as the “appearance of a closeness, however far away that which has left it behind may now be”. The streets of Barcelona are populated with the traces of small and large struggles that women have carried out throughout history. Some are barely noticeable, they sparkle, they hide. Others have become intentional traces, plaques or monuments that try to reconstruct and update the past that History with a capital H has wanted to erase. This film seeks this closeness that Benjamin speaks of, the vestige of an alternative history to the official one that must be saved from oblivion. It is the investigation of the historical strength of these women considered exceptions, footnote

Official trailer – Esa fugaz esencia que dejaron los sucesos

Cecilia Mangini

Italy, 1964

29 min. Italian. OVGS

This documentary is one of the earliest film enquiries on women’s condition in Italy, seen in its different aspects. social, economic, psychological. Starting from an analysis of the feminine role models proposed by the cultural industry – the movie starts and the fashion magazine models – the film finds its protagonists among real women, of all ages and from all regions.

Official trailer – Essere Donna
Fotograma Stendalí

Cecilia Mangini

Italy, 1960

10 min. Italian. OVES

An ecstatic film that borders on the hallucination that places us in the middle of the mourners’ ritual at a funeral in Salento, Southern Italy. An endangered tradition in a film that includes a text by Pasolini.

Fotograma María e i giorni

Cecilia Mangini

Italy, 1959

10 min. OVGS

A day in the life of Maria, an energetic old woman who lives on a farm in Puglia. She is not afraid of death, the gestures and actions that fill her days give meaning to time.

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Tickets: NUMAX´s ticket office or website.

Fotograma Ignoti allá città

Cecilia Mangini

Italy, 1958

11 min. OVGS

Mangini’s debut, featuring a text by a Pasolini who was still a mere writer, a work withdrawn by the censorship that portrays the terrible living conditions, but also the animal spirit, of the young people of the Roman borgates, marginal and poor villages.

Cecilia Mangini

Italy, 1962

11 min. OVGS

A sensual and vibrant vision without euphemisms about the children of the Roman suburbs and their summer hobby, swimming in the ponds, with commentary by Pier Paolo Pasolini.

Carolina Astudillo

France / Spain, 2023

11 min. OV


The palm trees on the reverse are a delusion; so is the pink sand. This line, taken from a poem by Margaret Atwood, lights the path traced in Postcard. As the years go by, landscapes transform, take on new meanings, and hold onto joys that will never be regained. The sea and the beach, once stages of happy summers, romances, and encounters, will turn into concentration camps or centers of detention and torture. This occurs across different times and places. In this piece, I embark on a journey through some of my works that explore the relationship between testimony, spaces, and time, engaging in dialogue with the beautiful film directed by Alejandro Segovia in 1972.

Cecilia Mangini

Italy, 1964

13 min. OVGS

The acute gaze of Cecilia Mangini, one of the greatest exponents of Italian documentary, throws itself into the Christmas fray, piling up the chaos of confusing stimuli that make incomprehensible connections and fractures between the sacred and the profane, between Baby Jesus and plucked chickens.

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Tickets: NUMAX´s ticket office or website.

Fotograma Un paseo por New York Harbor

Carolina Astudillo

Spain, 2019

5.20 min. OV

The apparent calm of a sunny Sunday dazzles passers-by. Don’t they hear the songs for peace, the cries against war and the agitation produced in the streets by civil rights movements?. A letter addressed to a brother, the words of the poet Langston Hughes and the rhythm of jazz, remind us that 1967 was a hectic year.

Official trailer – Un paseo por New York Harbor 
Fotograma Due scatole dimenticate – un viaggio in Vietnam

Cecilia Mangini and Paolo Pisanelli

Italy, 2020

57 min. OVGS

Between 1964 and 1965, the directors Lino Del Fra and Cecilia Mangini lived for three months in North Vietnam, at war with the United States at the time, for the filming of a film dedicated to a people struggling for unity and independence. Now, forgotten for more than fifty years in an old cupboard in the attic, two shoeboxes full of photographic negatives have unexpectedly been found. And the result is a chamber film that tells of a war, of fading memory, of a challenge against the passing of time.

Official trailer – Due scatole dimenticate – un viaggio in Vietnam