Magazine article Screen International

Cannes: Michele Russo Talks 'The Family Whistle'

Magazine article Screen International

Cannes: Michele Russo Talks 'The Family Whistle'

Article excerpt

Michele Russo has spent many years making The Family Whistle, his documentary about the Coppola family and its origins in Bernalda, a small village in southern Italy. Russo himself is from Bernalda and discovered when he was a child that Francis Ford Coppola was actually his cousin. In the documentary (screening in Cannes Classics on May 19), Russo goes to exhaustive lengths to chart the Coppola family tree.

In particular, he chronicles the life of Agostino Coppola (Francis's grandfather), both growing up impoverished in southern Italy and as an immigrant in New York.

"Step by step, I discovered many interesting characters. For me, it was like a fable," says Russo, who played a hitman in The Godfather Part III. These include Agostino's mother, Filomena "No Nose", so called because her nose was cut offafter it became infected. …

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