Antonello Branca (b. 1935)

What's Happening?

Antonello Branca was one of the greatest Italian documentarist of the 60s and the 70s. He was born in Roma in 1935. A photographer in Kenya at the age of just 24, he then went on to become the London correspondent for the Agenzia Italia. He makes his first documentaries and after a long stay in London he starts collaborating with TV7, the current affairs "cult" programme of Channel 2. His report on Vajont (1963), was the first programme to draw attention to the human responsibility for the disaster. In 1966 with Raffaele De Luca he sets up the "Filmaker Research Group" and together they go about producing a rich series of documentaries in the United States. With "What's Happening?" they give life to an irreverent picture of America of the 60s. A song by Elaine Brown "Seize the time" inspires the title of the film on the Black Panther Party. Between 1980 and 1981 he is once again in America. His project is to tell the story of the history of Italian migration to the United States.