Draquila – Italy Trembles

Sabina Guzzanti

Entertaining documentary about prime minister Berlusconi’s efforts to use the devastating earthquake in L’Aquila to boost his reputation, which is fading due to a number of (sex) scandals. Its director, comedian Sabina Guzzanti, is systematically ridiculed in the Berlusconi-dominated media.

The Central Italian town of L’Aquila was struck by a violent earthquake in the night of 5-6 April 2009. Nearly 300 people were killed, several thousands of Italians sustained injuries and tens of thousands were left without a roof over their heads. Draquila - Italy Trembles shows how the Italian government dealt with the aftermath of the disaster, with prime minister Berlusconi launching a propaganda campaign in which he made all sorts of promises to the survivors who lost their homes. He visited the town at several occasions, but only partly kept his promises and awarded the lucrative reconstruction projects to befriended contractors.

Draquila is a contraction of Dracula en L'Aquila, and director Guzzanti’s way of saying that Berlusconi behaves like a frightening vampire. No wonder, therefore, that many inhabitants of the town refused to participate in the film’s shooting. Sabina Guzzanti is an actress, comedian, director and activist. Her satirical TV show was taken off the air after just one broadcast. She previously made the documentary Viva Zapatero! When it became known that Draquila - Italy Trembles had been selected for the Cannes Film Festival, the Italian minister of culture decided to boycott the festival.


Sabina Guzzanti
Country of production
90 minutes
Spoken language
Production company
Secol Superbo and Sciocco Produzioni
World Sales
Dutch distributor
September Film Distribution