Una donna può tutto
They were called Night Witches. In 1941, a group of Soviet girls manage to win a leading role in the battle against the Third Reich. Rejecting all male presence, on fragile but agile biplanes, they show the daring, the courage of a war that can also have the face of women.
Their battle begins well before they take to the air and continues after victory. It begins in the corridors of the Kremlin, continues in the harsh months of training, explodes in the skies over the Caucasus, and ends with the stubborn replay of a memory that masculine History would like to erase.
Their real goal is emancipation, equality at all costs with men. Their enemy, even before the Germans, is prejudice, the distrust of their comrades, the oblivion into which they would like to confine them.
Against this oblivion writes Ritanna Armeni, who challenges all the “nets” of nomenclature until she finds the last witch still alive and reconstructs with her their incredible story.
It is Irina Rakobolskaya, 96, the deputy commander of the 588th regiment, who tells us the bold and crazy speech with which the national heroine Marina Raskova convinces Stalin himself to set up the regiments of aviators only. It is she who describes to us the cold and fear, courage and even love behind the 23,000 flights and 1100 nights of combat. And to narrate the war as only a woman could: “There is feeling, suffering and mourning, but there is also homeland, socialism, discipline and victory. There is patriotism but also irony; anger along with wisdom. There is friendship. And there is – very strong – the drive to win equality with men, desired so much – and this is not rhetoric – that she chose to die to get it.”