Hit The Road, Granny is an excellent documentary by Duccio Chiarini, (Italy) 2011. It explores both the career and family life of Delia Ubaldi. She was born in Italy but the family soon settled in France, where her father found work in a factory. They struggled economically and also suffered prejudice as immigrants. Derisively called macaroni-eaters.
Her mother, determined that the children receive a good education, paid for their schooling with produce she grew. Delia, the first immigrant in her class, was determined to fit in. By the time she graduated secondary school she spoke French, German, and Italian. At the end of WWII she married a handsome Italian and moved back to Italy with him.
Delia used her language skills to find her first job and learned enough about the fashion industry to eventually launch her own company. She sold to stores in France and Germany. Constantly traveling for work and pleasure. She amassed great wealth over time and owned impressive homes in several countries.
Her grandson, filmmaker Duccio Chiarini, remembers her sudden arrivals and departures throughout his childhood. Her unwelcome presence at significant family celebrations always left someone crying.
She was a bigger than life figure who remained a mystery for him. Reviled by not only his parents but also other members of the extended family. His desire to find out what he could about her became the inspiration for the film.
New Italian Cinema continues through the weekend. More information at the San Francisco Film Society.
copyright © 2012 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved