Twice a year the Italian city of Siena goes crazy for the oldest horse race in the world: the Palio.
Not your average race: strategy, bribery and corruption play as much a part as the skill of the riders. Horses are allocated by lot four days prior to the race. This is when the madness truly begins. In the eye of the storm stand the jockeys. Loved and loathed by the districts they represent, they forge alliances and make deals promising large cash sums to try and get the best start. Legendary rider Gigi Bruschelli has won 13 Palios in 16 years and is accused by his critics of monopolizing the race. He works the system, paying off younger jockeys and fixing the race with average horses. Two races away from beating the world record, Bruschelli will do anything to win. But one jockey stands in his way, his former trainee, a handsome young Sardinian, Giovanni Atzeni, who is quietly determined to challenge his old mentor. Less interested in bribes and collusion, he rides for the love of the race. PALIO is the thrilling story of a young ‘outsider’ keen to break in to the dangerous but lucrative race and the corrupt ‘insider’ who has manipulated the city of Siena for a decade. Their passionate and dramatic battle is an epic and cinematic tale of Italian life in microcosm.
Tribeca Film Festival
Best editing in a documentary feature