Dir Corrado Franco begs Trump to help the homeless

Rodolfo Spagone

ROME - Italian director, Corrado Franco, wrote an open letter to President Donald Trump after seeing the homeless situation in America while in Los Angeles during the lead up to the Oscars. Franco directed the documentary film AL DI QUA, “Life here,” centered around the homeless of Turin that has been submitted for an academy award.

 The protagonist, a homless man named Rodolfo Spagone, died last Wednesday from poor health relating to living on the streets. The documentary humanizes those who are often invisible to the rest of society, showing the downward spiral, in a sometimes surrealist fashion, that leads ordinary people to the literal gutters.

 Clearly the making of the documentary has emotionally effected Franco, even more so since the death of the protagonist in the lead up to the film’s nomination. His letter addressing the president is a nonpartisan appeal to the hellish conditions that are endured by human beings the world over:

"Dear Mr. President Donald Trump,

 I am the Italian film director and producer of AL DI QUA, a documentary film on 40 homeless people and on poverty, shot in the city of Turin, Italy.

 AL DI QUA was submitted to participate in the 2018 Oscars®, as Best Documentary Feature.

 Rodolfo Spagone, the homeless protagonist of AL DI QUA, died at age 60, last Wednesday, November 23rd, 2017, due to health issues related to his homeless condition. He had become homeless 4 years ago.

 Yesterday, I visited Skid Row in Los Angeles, the area of Downtown Los Angeles, where thousands of homeless men and women live like a Dantesque infernal group. I was shocked.

 I think that a civilized country like the United States of America should not allow that thousands of people are abandoned to their sad destiny.

 In the United States there are 550,000 homeless people and 40 million people live in conditions of poverty. In New York there are 60,000 homeless people and in Los Angeles 58,000.

 In Italy, 4,7 million people live in total poverty. In Europe, approximately 122 million of people are on the poverty line and risk social exclusion. Approximately 800 million people in the world suffer hunger.

 The President of the Italian Senate, Pietro Grasso, the second most important authority in the Italian Republic, personally wrote to me, on June 20th 2017, a beautiful and touching letter about poverty and my documentary film.

 I invite you, Mr. President Donald Trump, and also the Mayor of Los Angeles, Mr. Eric Garcetti, the Mayor of New York, Mr. Bill De Blasio, the Italian Prime Minister, Mr. Filippo Gentiloni, to read the letter from the President of the Italian Senate, Mr. Pietro Grasso, and watch my docu-film.

 I invite you, Mr. President Donald Trump, to help the 550,000 homeless and the 40 million people in poverty in the United States.

 I invite Mr. Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, to help the 4,7 million Italian people that live in poverty.

 We can all become very rich and powerful but we can all become very poor, too.

 Nobody should be abandoned to their destiny.

 I really hope that Rodolfo Spagone`s death will be worth something."