Synopsis: Thirty-seven year old Ricardo Trogi narrates the story of a specific time from his childhood about which he still obsesses, it a time that changed his childhood. The year was 1981, when he, then eleven years old, was just starting grade 6. He was obsessed with material possessions, and as he felt his working class parents didn't buy those things for him he wanted so dearly, his most prized possession was the Consumers Distributing catalog from which he made his list of items he wanted, long at the top of the list a $400 calculator watch. These possessions he felt would impress the world. He largely dismissed his waitress mother Claudette, but he admired his father Benito. Although he at the time didn't know what his father did for a living, Ricardo believed he was smart enough to be a lawyer if he had the means to go to college, that belief largely by the stories Benito told of growing up during WWII in Italy. In 1981, the family, which included his adolescent sister Nadia, moved to th
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
Director(s): Ricardo Trogi
Production: GO Films
  3 wins & 7 nominations.
102 min

nineteen eighty one

for my mother, my father,

my sister...

Northern Italy

My father was born in 1937 or '38.

I never remember.

Anyway, it's not important.

What's important is,

my dad grew up during WWII.

When everyone was poor

and in B &W.

Before the war

his family was loaded.

But one day,

for some reason no one remembers,

the Krauts burned down their inn.

They lost everything.

Cause of that,

my dad couldn't buy himself stuff.

It was no big deal,

since in his village

nobody could buy stuff.

Then one day,

maybe somebody was tired of not

having colors or buying stuff,

and pulled one on the Krauts.

It seems that someone

in your gang

stole our radio transmitter.

I know the Krauts must have

spoken German, but...

the way Dad told it,

everyone spoke French.

We'll settle this fast.

I have his name here.

If the guilty party

steps forward now,

the rest can go.

Or we'll shoot someone at random

every five minutes.

Till we find our man.

Which one of you is named


Whoever's named Benito,

step forward right now.


I'll ask one last time.

Benito better shake his butt

and step forward

or the old cow gets whacked.

Jesus Christ!

Don't take me for an idiot.

They didn't take him

for an idiot, but back then

the leader of Italy

was named Benito.

Benito Mussolini was their leader.

If you named your son Benito,

you got a cheque for $ 1.

People were so poor, it worked.


And nothing.

There were lots of Benitos.

But the radio?

What about it?

The thief. Who was it?

An older kid, I think.

Did they kill him?


The real Benito, who stole the radio.

I can't remember.

Come on, you can't remember?

It's been 40 years.

You forget things.

You never remember

where you left your shoes.

That's so random.

At your age I'd never have dared

ask my dad for a $400 watch.

It was the war.

Nobody ever asked for anything.

One Christmas,

know what my present was?

Soup, you told me.

A small bowl of soup.

Dad came up with a story

every time I asked him

to buy me something.

Without fail.

Mom would tell you

I was always reading this.

I sometimes leafed through it,

just for fun.

I always checked out

the same stuff.

Calculator watches, p. 61.

Electric racing cars, p. 63.

Hockey net, that was p. 75.

Motocross bikes,

I forget which page.

Besides, everybody read it.

Consumer's Distributors was big.

I n '81, my neatest stuff

was Uncle Andr's hockey gear,

my Star Wars bedspread,

a 3-speed with useless brakes...


Sonic soccer shoes with spikes,

the new album by Kiss,


two Bdard Movers caps,



And a Swiss Army knife

I wasn't allowed to touch.

I had no more toys,

I'd pitched'em out.

I was changing.

Getting interested in girls,

except Sis.

I needed some flashy stuff.

I needed a sound system

with giant speakers,

a stroboscope for parties,

to dance robot style,

moon boots, but not this color,

the new Intellivision game,

cause Atari graphics sucked,

the new Cooper SK2001

hockey helmet

with a face guard like Drolet had,

an in-ground pool,

and a Rubik's Cube

for the school bus.

I knew we were Middle Class,

just barely.

We'd nearly been rejected.

Cause my dad didn't go to university.

He didn't work in an office.

With his job, he never had meetings.

The one time he came back

from one it was 4 a. M.

And Mom didn't believe him.

Mom didn't have a degree either.

Grandpa was a logger.

All I know about Gran

is, she liked potatoes.

At one point Mom realized

she was stuck in a poor family.

So she left the boonies

and moved to Qubec City.

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Ricardo Trogi

Ricardo Trogi (born March 25, 1970) is a Canadian filmmaker, director and actor. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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