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SLIM 2023 / “The Nonexistent Knight” by Pino Zack


2023 Week of Italian Language in the World
Italian language and sustainability

The Nonexistent Knight
directed by Pino Zac
1971, 97’, Italian with English subtitles
In-person screening
Saturday, October 21 at 2:00pm
Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago

On the occasion of the 23rd edition of the Week of Italian Language in the World, the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago presents a screening of the mixed media film “Il Cavaliere Inesistente” by Pino Zac, inspired by the homonymous novel by Italo Calvino. Shot in 1971, the film combines animation and actors through the stop motion technique, recreating the fantastic Calvinian world in an extravagant story, full of fantasy and humor, equally enjoyable by adults and children alike.

Following Charlemagne in the fight against the Saracens, a strange knight appears one day: all that exists of him is an empty armor that walks and a voice that comes out of a body that is not there. As people doubt the legitimacy of his title, Agilulfo – this is the name of the knight – leaves for Scotland, looking for a noblewoman, Sofronia, who would be able to prove the regularity of his investiture. Madly in love with him, a paladin, Bradamante, tries to reach him, chased in turn by a suitor, Rambaldo. Also directed to Scotland is Torrismondo, an aspiring paladin who needs to prove the nobility of his origins. However, the three get lost, ending up in different directions. While following Sophronia, Agilulfo is forced to go from Scotland to Morocco, where he finally finds his woman with the sultan. After he manages to snatch her from him, he joins Charlemagne and hides her for the night in a cave. Here, however, Torrismondo finds Sofronia and takes her with him, so that Agilulfo, unable to prove that he has been regularly invested, loses his only chance to exist. On the other hand, dressed in the now inert armor of Agilulfo, Rambaldo finally finds the love of Bradamante.

Free and open to the public. Registration is not required. Doors open at 1:30pm CT and seats are assigned on a first-come-first-served basis, until capacity is reached.

The Week of Italian Language in the World is a yearly worldwide celebration of the Italian language and creativity. This initiative was born in 2001 in cooperation with the Accademia della Crusca. It is organized during the third week of October by the Embassies, Consulates, and Italian Cultural Institutes, with the support of the Ministry of Culture (MiC), the Ministry of University and Research (MUR), the Government of Switzerland and all of the main partners for the promotion of the Italian language.