We Weren't Given Anything for Free

We Weren't Given Anything for Free (2014)

The story of an Italian partisan

  • Genre: Documentary, History
  • Release Date: 2014-01-20
  • Runtime: 0h 58min
  • Language: Italiano
  • Production Company: MakeShiftMovies
  • Production Country: Germany, Italy
  • Director: Eric Esser


Annita Malavasi was just 22 when the Germans occupied Italy, their former allies, in 1943. As a partisan in the Italian resistance named “Laila”, she moved throughout the Apennines with and between fighting units, delivering information, transporting weapons, and taking part in battles. She spent over a year in the Apennines, fighting against the German occupation. At the same time, she had to assert herself against the men of the mountain villages. By the end of the war, Laila had risen among the ranks to become one of the few female commanders in the Italian resistance. This film chronicles the story of a lifelong struggle for emancipation that began with the battle for Italy’s liberation from fascism. Laila and her two comrades, Gina “Sonia” Moncigoli and Pierina “Iva” Bonilauri talk about their time in the Resistenza and what it meant to them and many other women.


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  • Annita Malavasi

    as Self
  • Gina “Sonia” Moncigoli

    as Self
  • Pierina “Iva” Bonilauri

    as Self
Sound Raimund von Scheibner Sound Mixer
Directing Eric Esser Director
Production Eric Esser Producer
Camera Colja Krugmann Director of Photography
Sound Colja Krugmann Sound
Editing Colja Krugmann Colorist
Editing Luca Reale Editor
Editing Rosa Giulio Editorial Production Assistant
Sound Michael Scheunemann Sound Designer
Crew Heike Herzog Translator
Writing Patrizia Fürst Script Consultant