“BITTER YEARS”— Being Gay in Italy



Being Gay in Italy

Amos Lassen

Andre  Adriatica’s “Bitter Years” is a film based on the life of Mario Mieli, one of the founders of the Italian Homosexual Liberation Movement which was created at the beginning of the 1970s. He was an activist, intellectual, writer and performer and an important figure on the Italian cultural scene.

While he was alive, he had deeply complicated relationships with his parents and toward the end of his life with his partner Umberto Pasti, with whom he had an intense love affair. Mario died in 1983 but his legacy lives on today.


Mario killed himself in 1983, before turning 31. He was an activist, an intellectual, a writer and a performer and a key figure in the Italian cultural panorama at that time along with his friends architect Corrado Levi, painter Piero Fassoni singer Ivan Cattaneo, activist Angelo Pezzana, writer Fernanda Pivano and poet Milo De Angelis. He liked to provoke and to innovate but, today, he is not well known. He was the son of the upper-middle class and one of seven children.

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