The story opens with the image of a character called Diavolo (Devil, a sergeant), sitting on his motorcycle, smoking a cigarette, and waiting for a girl. When Vera appears at a distance, Diavolo notices the attention she gets from a group of soldiers and he is struck by her attractiveness. The narrator’s gaze passes from Diavolo to Vera, who is staring pensively at a big German pistol hanging from Diavolo’s belt.

After his reassurance that he will not hurt her, she mounts on his motorcycle. Diavolo turns back to look at her knees and they take off. When they reach a tree-lined alley, Diavolo turns off the engine and sits by Vera’s side on the grass. He puts a hand on her knees. Vera asks him to take the pistol out and put it away because its sight scares her. When he does so, she tells him that she has heard of a certain Diavolo, famous for killing many partisans. Diavolo tries again to touch her knees, boasting of the three men he had hung just the previous week. Taking his hand between hers, Vera praises his strength and asks him to let her hold the pistol and show her how to shoot. While Diavolo instructs Vera how to press the trigger, she points the pistol at him and, telling him that she is a partisan on a military mission, she shoots him right in the eyes. Two shots reverberate through the air and Vera calmly attached the pistol to her own belt.
(Venturi, Marcello. La ragazza se ne va con Diavolo)


[…] the virtual absence of women’s stories in major representations of the war (historical or fictional) corresponds to their physical absence in the victory manifestations at the end of the war. After Italy’s Liberation on 25 April 1945, while men celebrated their victory in public parades and demonstrations, female partisans, in the words of Addis Marina Saba, either remain in factories and homes to take care of the countless everyday needs, such as food and lodging, or they witnessed the manifestations deeply moved but invisible among the crowds […]. Thus, almost unknowingly, partisan women were preparing for their return to the quiet anonymity of their homes, to the silence often imposed on them and accepted without protest. (D’angelo, Rossetta and Barbara Zaczek. Resisting Bodies. xvii)


General Italian Partisan History
Historical Context

About Female Partisans (Italian)

About Female Partisans

About Women and Art and Politics


Partigiani – Guido Chiesa
Una Vita Difficile – Dino Risi
Roma citta’ aperta – Roberto Rossellini
L’Agnese va a morire – Giuliano Montaldo
Miracolo a Sant’Anna – Spike Lee
81/2 – Federico Fellini
Uccellini Uccellacci – Pier Paolo Pasolini
C’Eravamo Tanto Amati – Ettore Scola
Porzus – Renzo Martinelli
Piccoli Maestri – Daniele Lucchetti

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