12 years ago Marco Pantani was found dead, alone in his hotel room surrounded by cocaine, and our May film, to coincide with the Giro d’Italia, will be the screening of James Erskine’s powerful and moving documentary on the rise and fall of this controversial man.
Pantani was an extraordinary talent, driven by passion who captured the heart of the Italian nation. He rode with a showmanship, swagger and panache that together with his appearance gave him the nickname Il Parata – The Pirate. The fans on the mountain roadside will still display banners and graffiti in celebration and rememberance of Il Parata taken from them too early and in disgrace. Was he sinner or sinned against and Erskine’s film explores that line. Glory comes at a price and with Pantani this price was too much to pay invovling as it did a spiralling web of conspiracy, corruption, big business and doping that led to his complete destruction.
The title of the film is based on Dario Fo’s play Accidental Death of an Anarchist, a study of morality and bureaucracy in which plenty of people are complicit in a death that none of them need take responsibility for. The comparisons with Pantani and pro cycling as a whole over the last 20 years strike a powerful chord.
Join us for the journey into the dark heart of one of cyclings most charismatic and tragic figures – The Pirate and the murky seas he sailed in.
Date: 23 May at 7pm
Venue: The Reliance, 76-78 North Street, Leeds, LS2 7PN
Cost: £6 in advance (tickets can be bought via the eventbrite link opposite)