Black Is Beautiful (France)
I Fix America and Return (USA) (literal English title)
Ich geh' mal eben nach Amerika... (West Germany)
SISTEMO L'AMERICA E TORNO (BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL) is a dramatic comedy directed in 1974 by Nanni Loy and starring Paolo Villaggio, Sterling Saint Jacques, Armando Brancia, Fernando Cerulli, Christa Linder, Carla Mancini, Alfredo Rizzo, Giovanni Rosselli, Rita Savagnone. Giovanni Bonfiglio (Villaggio) is in the United States to take care of the business of his employer, a contractor from Busto Arsizio, who wanted to hire a promising black American basketball player, Ben Ferguson (Saint Jacques), for his basketball team. Ben, who speaks Italian, shows interest to go to Italy, but first he brings Bonfiglio in a long tour across the United States, to settle some personal matters. First stop in Detroit, visiting an exhibition of African American art (to which Ferguson sent a picture) and where Bonfiglio discovers that the basketball player is affiliated with the Black Panthers. Later they moved to Reno, where Ferguson, after divorcing his wife, involves Bonfiglio to flouting a wealthy businessman in his own villa. Finally they went to New Orleans, where the parents and siblings of Ferguson live. The Italian assists everywhere to scenes of racism, as well as the degradation of dilapidated neighborhoods where black people live. In New Orleans, after beating her sister who had decided to dye her hair blond, Ferguson gets drunk and starts quarrelling with Bonfiglio, who, tired of continuous pilgrimage to the United States, departs from him. After Bonfiglio discovered that the young man had been arrested and regretting leaving him, tracks him down through the Italian Consulate in Miami. Bofiglio visits him in prison where he witnessed another episode of racism, with white convicts who at the hour of air can be sheltered from the rain under a canopy, while the black convicts do not have the same right. Bonfiglio pays the bail to get him out of jail, but before to go to Italy, the player wants to play one last game in Atlanta with his team. During the game the basketball black players interrupt the game and address the viewers with hard words, accusing them and the rest of the American society to consider the black people only in sports, but treat them as inferior people in the every day life. The public, angry at the protest, invaded the pitch. Ferguson is killed in the blown up fight. Bonfiglio returns to Italy empty hands, pouring his tears during the whole trip by plane for the loss of what had become a close friend. Luis Bacalov composed an OST where he alternated pop music American style to a melancholy country-flavored theme for harmonica and orchestra symbolizing the friendship of the two protagonists. This CD includes a master stereo mounted with thirteen tracks for an album that was never released and also includes several bonus tracks in stereo with alternate takes.