FLIGHT TO FREEDOM - THE AVIATOR
(Hristo Shopov as Colonel Feuerbach)
ORIGINAL TITLE: Fuga per la libertá - L'aviatore (TV).
DIRECTED BY: Carlo Carlei.
MAIN CAST: Hristo Shopov, Sergio Castellito, Anna Valle, Marco Giallini, Christo Jivkov, Mariana Stanisheva, Matt Patresi, Rosabel Laurenti and Carlotta Natoli.
PRODUCED BY: Angelo Rizzoli.
WRITTEN BY: Carlo Carlei, Pietro Calderoni, Simone de Rita and Luigi Montefiori.
ORIGINAL MUSIC BY: Patrick Cassidy.
RUNTIME: 150 minutes.
GENRE: History | Drama | War.
This film is based upon true events that took place during WW II.
Genoa, 1943. Two friends, Massimo Teglio, a wealthy pilot, and Osvaldo Farina, a fascist leader, challenge each other to a friendly motorcycle race. The atmosphere in Genoa is confusing and uncomfortable after the armistice signed on 8th September. The Germans, on the outskirts of the city, have started to capture Jews and send them to concentration camps. The SS Colonel Feuerbach (Hristo Shopov) has arrived to Genoa, in charge of detaining and deporting all the Jewish community, and keeping the peace and order of the territory.
Virginia, a young pupil at Don Repetto’s parish, is a friend of Massimo and Farina, and the latter doesn’t hide his feelings for her. As the days pass in these political circumstances, Virginia quietly helps some Jewish families leave the country and reach the nearby Switzerland. So Massimo is involved in a concrete operation to take a Jew in his seaplane, with the corresponding risk for himself if the Colonel Feuerbach finds out. After Feuerbach’s suspicions and with some digging, the German colonel quickly realised that Massimo is Hebrew himself.
Margarita, Massimo's sister, choses to try to leave Genoa along with her two sons, but they all are caught and sent on a train, together with some seized valuable works of art to be sold by Feuerbach after the war. All Massimo's efforts to save her are futile. Then, after safely sending his daughter Nicoletta to her maternal grandparents, Massimo spend his funds saving Jews around Genoa.
One day the Jewish community is gathered in the synagogue together with rabbi Emanuele Pacifici. Feuerbach takes advantage of the opportunity to capture everyone and find out where the hidden Delasem list is, a document which includes every Jewish family name of Genoa. Massimo and Don Repetto shall do their best to keep the document safe and out of the hands of the colonel.
There is a secret workshop at Don Repetto’s church where they forge passports and personal documents, but Feuerbach finds out the plan and pressures Farina -reminding him of the loyalty he owes him and threatening him- so that he can finally capture Massimo together with all the Jews he’s trying to save in a convoy.
From this moment on, in a non stop action drama, there is a flurry of schemes on the part of the Germans and the opposing group to reach each of their objectives.