March 13, 1978. On a moonlit night, a man in his early thirties walks as watchful and agile as a cat over the rooftops of Venice. He jumps between two buildings, then grabs onto a gutter and lands on a narrow calle. He reaches the canal just around the corner. He climbs into a barge and sails silently and with headlights off between rios completely immersed in darkness as if guided by an internal radar. He is Silvano Maistrello, known as Kociss, the most famous and wanted bandit in Venice. Hunting him is the Police from all over Italy, but above all Arnaldo La Barbera, then young and fierce head of the Venice mobile squad, now considered the mastermind of the greatest deception in Italian history. The last and most legendary of the Venetian bandits. A specialist in escapes and acrobatic feats at the limits of human possibility. The man who never shot, who never killed or wounded. The man who stole only from the rich and the banks. The man who helped the poor in his district. Here is the story of Silvano Maistrello. It begins in postwar Venice and is that of a very poor child with charisma and extraordinary physical prowess, who in a short time becomes a kind of acrobatic Robin Hood and a legend in his city and in the underworld. A harsh and ruthless childhood, which ends the day Silvano at only 13 years old ends up in reform school for stealing a pack of American gum from the Standa. An adolescence that is in many ways unique but represents a classic coming-of-age novel. We fall in love with his exploits, love for the girl who will become his wife, cheer for his visceral search for freedom, stifled by the social context and history with a capital S. Here, then, the investigation and the bandit’s life gain existential depth and a more intimate point of view from which to view his reckless vicissitudes. A lover of Patti Pravo songs, our Citizen Kane is tailor-made on the life of an old-fashioned criminal. For there can be a “code of ethics” even for a criminal tightrope walker who thwarted the drug trade while maintaining a kind soul ready to give hope to poorer families.

A Robin Hood with the agility of a superhero entered into legend with so many unsolved questions. We will understand the answer to these questions at the end of our story and it is the key to reading backwards about Kociss’ actions and the spiral that engulfed him.

Altro da È FICTION