The Duce’s Boxer


London 14 June 2017 at 5pm

Documentary Screening

The Duce’s Boxer

(Il pugile del Duce, 65’, 2016)

by Tony Saccucci

Introduced and followed by Q&A with the Director

The Duce’s Boxer is a documentary about Leone Jacovacci, a black Italian boxer who discredited 20th century Italian dictator Benito Mussolini’s racist ideology by winning a European boxing title. It tells the story of Jacovacci, an African Italian born in the Congo who won the 1928 European middleweight title by beating Mario Bosisio, a white Italian boxer supported by the country’s Fascist leaders, in front of 40,000 fans in Rome’s National Stadium. Mussolini, outraged, then ordered Jacovacci and his achievement erased from Italy’s history books. But 89 years later, Jacovacci’s story has been resurrected. “Based on the book “Black Roman” by Italian sociologist Mauro Valeri, a former head of the country’s National Xenophobia Observatory, “The Duce’s Boxer” is directed by first-timer Tony Saccucci. Saccucci used archive footage from Italian state film institution Istituto Luce and photos provided by Jacovacci’s family. 

Italian Cultural Institute, 39 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8NX


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