EXCLUSIVE: 2022 Emmy nominee John Turturro (severance pay) came on board the documentary about the Second World War Potentially dangerous as executive producer. Director Zach Baliva’s first feature film will next be screened at the Ferrara Film Festival in Italy on September 11th.
Potentially dangerous unveils 80-year-old secrets and shares never-before-seen stories about the Italian-American experience during World War II, when more than half a million of these immigrants were deemed potentially dangerous by the US government.
During the course of World War II, the US government restricted the actions and freedoms of over 600,000 Italian residents. All were declared “enemy aliens” and many were placed under curfews, banned from their jobs, evacuated from their homes and communities, and sent to detention centers in Montana, Texas and elsewhere. Many of these people had been in the United States for decades, had children born in their adopted country, and had sons who served in the US military.
During this period, Italians formed the largest foreign-born group in the country. Interned Italians were not charged with a crime and were not allowed legal representation. They were subjected to “loyalty hearings” and held for the duration of the war. The United States government did not consider her “potentially dangerous” because of her actions, but because of where she was born. In the years after the war, most Italians refused to talk about what had happened to them. Even 80 years later, many remain silent. Until now. For the first time in the film, their stories are heard and the truth is revealed.
Potentially dangerous was produced through a grant from the Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum Grant 2021. In partnership with the Italian Sons and Daughters of America and the National Italian American Foundation, the Russo Brothers Forum Grant awards multiple $8,000 grants to filmmakers from around the world to create documentary, feature or non-fiction films that the Italian-American experience for the benefit of future generations.
Zach Baliva, Noah Readhead and Naomi Baliva produced the film, which had its world premiere at the Boston Film Festival in April and won first prize for Best Documentary at the Little Rock Italian Film Festival that same month. Pic is currently looking for a distributor.
“I’m so proud to give a voice to the people who were brave enough to share their stories with us for the first time, and I’m grateful to have been selected by the Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum Grant to bring this about important untold story of our past,” said Baliva. “Potentially dangerous reveals what happened to Italians in America during World War II and examines the lasting impact of these events on our culture. This story has modern implications for issues like immigration and justice, and can help us learn to treat others with empathy and understanding.”
“This is an important and often overlooked era,” said Joe Russo, co-founder of the Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum grant, their action thriller The gray man directed by brother Anthony Russo is currently climbing the Netflix most watched movie list. “Our heartfelt thanks go to the filmmakers who brought this issue to light and preserved it for future generations.”
“Potentially dangerous is a crucially important film that sheds light on a story that was nearly lost to history’s ephemera,” added Turturro. “As an Italian-American, I am honored to help bring this film to a wide audience who will discover how the relevant issues it raises are applicable today.”
Turturro is an actor, writer, director, and producer who is currently an Emmy-nominated for his role as Irving on Apple TV+ severance payafter previously winning for a guest role monk. The decorated actor has recently appeared in films such as The Batman and The Jesus Scrolls– He also wrote and directed the latter. Other recent TV credits include The Conspiracy Against America and The night of.
Turturro is represented by UTA and attorney George Sheanshang. Check out the trailer Potentially dangerous Above.