“Lawrence” is a lively, wry, and intimate portrait of Lawrence Ferlinghetti filmed across iconic San Francisco locations, from City Lights Bookstore to his painting studio at Hunters Point Shipyard. Ferlinghetti engages in spontaneous conversations, with his signature sense of humor fully on display, to tell an engaging version of his life story, ranging from personal events (the search for his roots, the discovery of the Italian origins, the arrival in San Francisco) to socio-political themes (the foundation of City Lights Bookstore, the beat generation, the political dissent). His wide range of achievements over a long and productive life – as poet, painter, publisher, and committed champion of free speech – have left an indelible imprint on American literary and cultural history.
Elisa Polimeni and Giada Diano have been long-time friends with Lawrence Ferlinghetti. During a two-decade collaboration they have developed a series of projects with him, including this documentary, books and art exhibitions both in the U.S. and Italy.
A PhD in American Studies, Giada Diano is a writer and Ferlinghetti’s biographer and translator in Italy. Her biography is published by Feltrinelli (Milan). She also collected and edited Ferlinghetti’s travel journals, published by W.W. Norton (New York).
With an M.A. in Art History, Elisa Polimeni is an Art Curator, designer, photographer and independent filmmaker. She organized several art exhibitions of contemporary artists in Italy and produced short documentaries on different subjects. Together with Giada Diano, she organized important retrospectives of Ferlinghetti’s artwork and international poetry festivals in Italy.