Mafalda of Savoy
Release Date
28 November 2006

Mafalda of Savoy (2006)

3h · Biography
The story of Mafalda is like the one of Cinderella, just the other way round. The dramatic real story of a Italian princess, born and raised in the comforts of a golden court, who will be forced by war to share the fate of ordinary people in a concentration camp. Mafalda di Savoia was chosen to represent the decline of nobility and the errors of war, which separate and destroy even noble families. Mafalda is a victim of political strategies that overlook her, and her tragic death shows the levelling power of war, that forces poor and rich alike to share the same destiny. Mafalda di Savoia, second born of the King of Italy Vittorio Emanuele III, immediately demonstrates great sensibility towards those who cannot share her privileges. Animated by a docile but determined nature, despite her father's will, she falls in love and decides to marry Prince Filippo D'Assia. The King, who does not approve the union of his daughter, a Catholic, with a German and protestant aristocratic, receives strong signals of disapproval from the Pope and Mussolini. The marriage of Mafalda and Filippo is rewarded by the birth of four children, but the historical situation - Fascism, the advent of Nazism and the imminent war - deprive the family of its usual serenity. Filippo spends most of his time in Germany, at Hitler's service, and Mafalda - who does not approve either of Mussolini or Nazism - is watched by the Gestapo. Her sudden attempt to maintain Montenegro outside the area of the Nazis influence, puts the Germans definitively against her. The Italian surrender on 8th September 1943 finds Mafalda on her way back from the funeral of her brother-in-law Boris of Bulgaria. She is alone and unprepared. She is captured by the SS and taken to Buchenwald. In the lager Mafalda is witness of the horrors of Nazism, but she bravely reacts to discouragement, by helping other prisoners. Her goodness of heart overcomes the initial distrust of the Italian prisoners towards the daughter of the traitor king and wins their confidence. In particular Mafalda becomes friends with Sara, a nurse in the lager, with some Italian sailors and with little Miriam, who becomes part of her family. Her proud and determined attitude puts her in contrast with Karl Rüdiger, chief of the camp, who tries to bend her will and to force her to betray her husband Filippo D'Assia. Mafalda does not surrender even if it means she will never see her children again. - Written by Anonymous
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