Mario Monicelli on The Organizer

Mario Monicelli on his 1963 film, The Organizer:

“I got the chance to say a certain number of things I felt strongly about. I wanted to say that strikes came about spontaneously, that strikes were inevitable in a given situation, that there were men capable of uniting and refusing to work in order to obtain certain concessions, to go on strike accepting the risks that this involved. I wanted to show why under certain conditions a strike cannot not happen; there was a search for truth and even a justification for the occupying of factories. When Mastroianni arrives on the premises, he asks the comrades to attack the factory; the outline of his language is taken from Mark Antony’s speech in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. We used its arguments: while writing the scene, I had Shakespeare’s text by my side. Mastroianni at first says bravo, you’re right, you’re doing the right thing not to go to the factory and then, little by little, he completely reverses everything.

In this film I especially wanted to say that what’s important is to be united; if things go wrong, it’s not important. The hero was going to go to prison but he had succeeded in kindling hope. Of course, it’s a bit didactic. For example, the scene where the torch is passed from hand to hand is also a little didactic. I shot this knowing that there was a little social realism in it; but when things are done well, it’s not a problem.”

— (via Italian Filmmakers: Self Portraits)