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We Weren’t Given Anything for Free

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.