The Stray Eagles: The Story of Scouting despite Fascism in Italy
The movie ”The Stray Eagles” was screened at the European Parliament in January 2020 where Elena Bonetti, the Italian minister for Equal Opportunities and Family, David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament and Nicola Danti, a member of the European Parliament, attended a short debate session before the screening. The debate was also attended by Matteo Spanò (President of the Italian Scouting Federation) Barbara Battilana (President of AGESCI) and Gianni Aureli, the director of the movie.
The Italian Catholic Guides and Scouts Association teamed up with a production company in 2018 to produce the movie The Stray Eagle. It was a crowdfunded project at first, but benefited from funding donations from the Italian Catholic Guides and Scouts Association, Lombardia region Film commission and other donors.
The movie is based on real events and takes place in facist Italy from 1928 - 1945.
When the Italian government banned all youth organisations in the country, 6 young Scouts from Milan decided to create a secret Scout group among themselves and call it “the Stray Eagles” with the goal to combat the state policies of division and keep Scouting alive in Milan. They decided to go to the 5th international Jamboree to meet with Lord Baden Powell, who encourages them to build a strong network of Scouts and leaders around them and keep the values of Scouting in their work.
The years go on and Italy falls under German-Nazi control. The Scouts work with OSCAR - Opera Scout Catholic Aid Resistance, an organization founded by a few priests, to help groups of persecuted people escape over the Italian-Swiss border.
The movie will be screened in front of the Italian Parliament at the end of February.
Photo credit: Matteo Bergamini