“VARICHINA”— The True Story of a Fake Life


The True Story of a Fake Life

Amos Lassen

Lorenzo de Santis was from the village of Bari, Italy. Bari is in southern Italy as is economically depressed. Back in the 1970s, Lorenzo was the only known gay there. It could just be that Lorenzo was so flamboyant that other gay men stayed in the closet. Mariangela Barbanete and Antonio Palumbo decided that he was a worthy study for a documentary and they reconstruct with actors and interviews with people who knew him and/or lived in Bari when he was there.

Lorenzo was an outrageously flamboyant dresser and as he walked down the street in feminine attire, he would defiantly answer those who yelled at him with colorful and often obscene language. He was known for flirting with the men there and telling them that once they run of our women, they would come to him. There are hints that there were those who did come for him secretly.

Lorenzo was much more comfortable being with the women and remembering that the 70s were not the most accepting decade in LGBT history, it was also a safe place for him to be. We do not learn much more than his being an out gay man so I am not sure that there was enough thought about making this film. Lorenzo was a curiosity but there is not much more to say about him.

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