Archive of films Train to Moscow: A Journey to Utopia / Il treno va a Mosca

Italy / United Kingdom
2013, 70 min

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Year: 2014

The end of an era as seen through the eyes of one member of a group of young Italian communists travelling to Moscow in 1957 to take part in the World Festival of Socialist Youth. Confronted with the reality of the Soviet Union, the young idealists become disillusioned with a society which was supposed to provide a model for their own back in Italy.


The end of an era seen through the eyes of a young Italian barber who set out for Moscow with a group of like-minded friends in 1957. Their hometown Alfonsine, like the majority of communities in Italy’s war-torn Emilia-Romagna region, is in the hands of "Red” local government by the late 1950s. Sauro Ravaglia and his friends dream of a world of peace, brotherhood and equality; in their mind, the Soviet Union has it all. Moscow is hosting the World Festival of  Youth and Students, and so, filled with enthusiasm and joy, the young comrades start out on their great journey in search of the model society they yearn to be a part of. What happens when so many young people set off to film this utopia on their amateur cameras and come face to face with reality? The film is chiefly created from archive footage shot in 1957 on Super 8. Excerpts of period music and radio broadcasts introduce a special magic to a historical episode that robbed the young idealists of their illusions, but not their memories.

About the director

Federico Ferrone, Michele Manzolini Federico Ferrone, Michele Manzolini

Federico Ferrone (b. 1981, Florence) studied history at the University of Bologna and political science in Paris. He made the documentary Banliyö-Banlieue (2004) with Francesco Ragazzi and Constance Rivière. As assistant director he was involved in the TV documentary series "Histoires en Méditerranée” (2005). With Ragazzi and Michele Manzolini he directed the documentary Merica (2007) and with Manzolini the doc The Train to Moscow: A Journey to Utopia (2013). Michele Manzolini (b. 1980, Sondrio, Italy) studied semiotics at the University of Bologna and continued his college education in Minho, Portugal, and in Rio de Janeiro. He joined Francesco Ragazzi and Federico Ferrone to direct the documentary Merica (2007), while he solo directed the TV doc The Enemy Within (2008), then teamed up with Ferrone once again for The Train to Moscow: A Journey to Utopia.


Ermete Novelli 4/4, 401 27, Bologna
Tel: +39 331 570 1223
E-mail: [email protected]

Slingshot Films
Via Roma 17, 34132, Trieste
Tel: +39 347 627 3390
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, DCP
International premiere

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Director: Federico Ferrone, Michele Manzolini
Screenplay: Federico Ferrone, Michele Manzolini
Dir. of Photography: Sauro Ravaglia, Luigi Pattuelli, Enzo Pasi, Andrea Vaccari, Marcello Dapporto
Music: Francesco Serra
Editor: Sara Fgaier
Producer: Claudio Giapponesi
Production: Kiné
Coproduction: Vezfilm
Contact: Kiné, Slingshot Films


Federico Ferrone

Film Director

Michele Manzolini

Film Director

Francesco Ragazzi


Magdalena Szymkow

Film Director


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