We Weren't Given Anything for Free

The story of an Italian partisan


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.




Annita "Laila" Malavasi with Monte Ventasso in the background (Still1)
Pierina “Iva” Bonilauri with her medals, decorations and awards (Still 2)
Annita “Laila” Malavasi and Gina “Sonia” Moncigoli (Still 3)
January 20, 2014

First Sergeant Annita „Laila“ Malavasi
* 21.05.1921; † 27.11.2011
144th Garibaldi Battalion
Intelligence Corps Commander

First Sergeant Pierina „Iva“ Bonilauri
* 16.05.1918; † 14.09.2011
144th Garibaldi Battalion
Vice Commandant of the Partisan Prison

Second Lieutenant Gina „Sonia“ Moncigoli
* 01.06.1923; † 06.11.2011
144th Garibaldi Battalion
Responsible for provisions for the City Guerrilla Battalion 37

Date Event Location
10.02.20 Banditi e Ribelli - Die italienische Resistenza 1943-1945 (special screening) Oldenburg, Germany
20.12.19 AStA TU Berlin (special screening) Berlin, Germany
04.12.19 Feministisches Café Connewitz (special screening) Leipzig, Germany
23.11.19 La rivoluzione a tavola (special screening) Hamburg, Germany
28.10.19 HBS-Stipgruppe Regensburg (special screening) Regensburg, Germany
11.09.19 13. Festival de Cine de los Derechos Humanos Cine Otro (festival) Valparaiso, Chile
08.09.19 CinemAperitivo (theatrical exhibition) Berlin, Germany
07.05.19 kultur+politik Forum Heidesheim (special screening) Deutschland, Germany
24.04.19 Lichtblick-Kino (theatrical exhibition) Berlin, Germany
26.02.19 Feministische Aktionswochen Bochum (special screening) Bochum, Germany
02.02.19 Infoladen Cigno Nero (special screening) Solothurn, Switzerland
15.12.18 Lüttje Lüüd (special screening) Hamburg, Germany
12.11.18 PingPong-Tresen (special screening) Berlin, Germany
04.10.18 Infoladen Wilhelmsburg & RosaLux Hamburg (special screening) Hamburg, Germany
05.09.18 Cine Autor (VOD) (festival) Sa Pobla, Spain
16.05.18 Il Veliero Parlante (special screening) Lecce, Italy
06.05.18 Banditi e ribelli (special screening) Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
25.04.18 25 aprile (special screening) Berlin, Germany
24.04.18 Osteria letteraria Sottovento (special screening) Pavia, Italy
11.04.18 Odio gli indifferenti (special screening) Neviano, Italy
08.03.18 Raeume Wohnprojekt (special screening) Lüneburg, Germany
20.02.18 Vetomat (special screening) Berlin, Germany
06.02.18 Doku-Film Resistente (special screening) Berlin, Germany
31.01.18 Friedensinitiative Traunstein, Traunreut, Trostberg (special screening) Trostberg, Germany
08.11.17 s.P.u.K. e. V. (special screening) Erfurt, Germany
09.10.17 DGB Haus Braunschweig (special screening) Braunschweig, Germany
13.06.17 Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt (closed event) Klagenfurt, Austria
06.06.17 Infoladen Salzburg (special screening) Salzburg, Austria
26.05.17 ANPI Arcevia (special screening) Arcevia, Italy
13.05.17 Liebig Lieb Ick FEST! (special screening) Berlin, Germany
07.05.17 Infoladen Rosenheim (special screening) Rosenheim, Germany
28.04.17 Illegalität & Körper (special screening) Leipzig, Germany
25.04.17 Kinodromo (theatrical exhibition) Bologna, Italy
25.04.17 Kinodromo (theatrical exhibition) Bologna, Italy
24.04.17 POLPETTA Ristor_Orto Autogestito (special screening) Livorno, Italy
23.04.17 Settimana Partigiana (special screening) Bagnaia, Italy
21.04.17 Iniziative donne e Resistenza (special screening) Milan, Italy
20.04.17 Verso il 25 aprile (special screening) Chiavenna, Italy
09.04.17 Nomadenkino B-Lage (special screening) Berlin, Germany
06.04.17 Kulturzentrum E-Werk (theatrical exhibition) Erlangen, Germany
03.04.17 Verso il 25 aprile (closed event) Chiavenna, Italy
23.02.17 Roter Saal im Schloss (special screening) Braunschweig, Germany
19.12.16 Donne resistenti (theatrical exhibition) Ravenna, Italy
06.12.16 Salty Doks (theatrical exhibition) Salzburg, Austria
31.10.16 Kino City46 (theatrical exhibition) Bremen, Germany
12.10.16 Frauenhetz (special screening) Vienna, Austria
11.10.16 RAW Filmabend (special screening) Vienna, Austria
01.10.16 Peršmanhof (special screening) Bad Eisenkappel, Austria
21.09.16 Leoncavallo Spazio Pubblico Autogestito (special screening) Milan, Italy
18.09.16 Librere e Resistenti (special screening) Avigliana, Italy
14.09.16 Leoncavallo Spazio Pubblico Autogestito (special screening) Milan, Italy
07.09.16 Screening im Volxhaus Klagenfurt (special screening) Klagenfurt, Austria
06.09.16 Top Kino (theatrical exhibition) Vienna, Austria
05.09.16 Filmhaus Nürnberg (theatrical exhibition) Nürnberg, Germany
04.09.16 Screening in der Ligsalz8 (special screening) Munich, Germany
20.07.16 ARCI Empolese Valdelsa (theatrical exhibition) Empoli, Italy
05.07.16 Kino achteinhalb (theatrical exhibition) Celle, Germany
24.06.16 Queerfeministisches Frauen*seminar 2016 (closed event) Salecina, Switzerland
22.06.16 Cine k (theatrical exhibition) Oldenburg, Germany
07.06.16 Italia Altrove Francoforte (special screening) Frankfurt on the Main, Germany
31.05.16 Circolo ARCI Mario Bencini (theatrical exhibition) Florence, Italy
28.05.16 Circolo ARCI Alberone (theatrical exhibition) Pisa, Italy
25.05.16 Near Nazareth Festival 2016 (festival) Afula, Israel
22.05.16 LaVidaVerde (special screening) Berlin, Germany
19.05.16 Universität des Saarlandes (special screening) Saarbrücken, Germany
17.05.16 Wagenplatz Rhizomia (special screening) Leipzig, Germany
11.05.16 Arbeitsgemeinschaft sozialdemokratischer Frauen (special screening) Berlin, Germany
08.05.16 8. Mai: Wer nicht feiert hat verloren! (special screening) Pirna, Germany
01.05.16 B-Movie (theatrical exhibition) Hamburg, Germany
30.04.16 Carovana Antifascista (special screening) Rome, Italy
29.04.16 KM33 (special screening) Trezzo sull'Adda, Italy
28.04.16 Cineclub Agorà (theatrical exhibition) Pontedera, Italy
28.04.16 ANPI Brescia (special screening) Brescia, Italy
28.04.16 DOKfilmCLUB (special screening) Berlin, Germany
26.04.16 Cinémathèque Leipzig (theatrical exhibition) Leipzig, Germany
25.04.16 Comitato Articolo 1 (theatrical exhibition) Benevento, Italy
25.04.16 Circolo Gagarin (theatrical exhibition) Busto Arsizio, Italy
25.04.16 Circolo Arci Q16 (theatrical exhibition) Mestre, Italy
25.04.16 Sputnik Buchladen (special screening) Potsdam, Germany
25.04.16 Circolo ARCI "Il Tiglio" (theatrical exhibition) Vicchio, Italy
25.04.16 Arci Legnago (theatrical exhibition) Legnago, Italy
24.04.16 70° anniversario della Liberazione (special screening) Fondi, Italy
24.04.16 Molo di Lilith (theatrical exhibition) Turin, Italy
24.04.16 Dock 61 (theatrical exhibition) Ravenna, Italy
24.04.16 Circolo ARCI 12 Marzo (theatrical exhibition) Vicchio, Italy
24.04.16 Screening in der K9 (special screening) Berlin, Germany
24.04.16 Circolo Arci Miele - Notte Rossa (theatrical exhibition) Lecce, Italy
24.04.16 wb13 (special screening) Berlin, Germany
24.04.16 Restiamo umani (special screening) Milan, Italy
24.04.16 Associazione Zorba il Gatto (theatrical exhibition) Carbonia, Italy
23.04.16 Casale Podere Rosa (special screening) Rome, Italy
23.04.16 Circolo Arci di Scopeti (theatrical exhibition) Rufina, Italy
23.04.16 Cineclub Agorà (theatrical exhibition) Pontedera, Italy
22.04.16 Centro Culturale Villa Marazzi (special screening) Cesano Boscone, Italy
22.04.16 Casale Podere Rosa (special screening) Rome, Italy
21.04.16 Spazio Corsaro (special screening) Chia, Italy
20.04.16 Gespräche am Tor (special screening) Karlsruhe, Germany
19.04.16 Anpi di Bellaria (special screening) Bellaria Igea Marina, Italy
19.04.16 ANPI di Avigliana (special screening) Avigliana, Italy
16.04.16 Dalla memoria alla responsabilità (special screening) Reggio nell'Emilia, Italy
03.04.16 B-Movie (theatrical exhibition) Hamburg, Germany
02.04.16 ANPI Arcevia (special screening) Castiglioni, Italy
08.03.16 Frauen* in der Resistenza (special screening) Berlin, Germany
08.03.16 Parkclub Fürstenwalde (theatrical exhibition) Fürstenwalde, Germany
27.02.16 Gerlind Institute Filmnacht (special screening) Oakland, United States
21.02.16 Filmreihe der VVN-BdA Hamburg (special screening) Hamburg, Germany
13.02.16 Boddinale 2016 (festival) Berlin, Germany
26.11.15 Italienischer Filmclub (theatrical exhibition) Düsseldorf, Germany
25.11.15 Cineding (theatrical exhibition) Leipzig, Germany
24.11.15 Cineding (theatrical exhibition) Leipzig, Germany
23.11.15 Cineding (theatrical exhibition) Leipzig, Germany
19.11.15 Italienischer Filmclub (theatrical exhibition) Düsseldorf, Germany
19.11.15 Geschichtssalon im Beginenhof (special screening) Berlin, Germany
12.11.15 Reitschule (theatrical exhibition) Bern, Switzerland
10.11.15 Veranstaltung im k-fetisch (special screening) Berlin, Germany
03.11.15 Veranstaltung in der Meuterei (special screening) Berlin, Germany
30.10.15 Veranstaltung des AZ Kassel (special screening) Cassel , Germany
28.10.15 Kino panoptikum (theatrical exhibition) Siegen, Germany
18.10.15 Veranstaltung des Bildungswerk Berlin der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (special screening) Berlin, Germany
27.09.15 Xenix (theatrical exhibition) Zürich, Switzerland
26.09.15 Italienisches Kulturinstitut Stuttgart (special screening) Stuttgart, Germany
25.09.15 LA RESISTENZA CONTINUA - Diskussion und Vortrag (debate, no screening) Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
24.09.15 KoKi Freiburg (theatrical exhibition) Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
24.09.15 Romanisches Seminar Universität Mannheim (special screening) Mannheim, Germany
20.09.15 Xenix (theatrical exhibition) Zürich, Switzerland
15.09.15 Screening im Kartäuserwall 14 (special screening) Köln, Germany
13.09.15 Xenix (theatrical exhibition) Zürich, Switzerland
10.09.15 Veranstaltung in der Butze (special screening) Düsseldorf, Germany
09.09.15 Filmpalette (theatrical exhibition) Köln, Germany
08.09.15 Kino im Sprengel (theatrical exhibition) Hannover, Germany
07.09.15 Die Pumpe (theatrical exhibition) Kiel, Germany
06.09.15 Cine Feld 22 (special screening) Erlangen, Germany
06.09.15 Xenix (theatrical exhibition) Zürich, Switzerland
03.09.15 Castle Hotel (special screening) Manchester, United Kingdom
30.08.15 Xenix (theatrical exhibition) Zürich, Switzerland
23.07.15 f.a.q. (FLTI Thresen) (special screening) Berlin, Germany
08.07.15 International Tour Film Festival (festival) Civitavecchia, Italy
07.07.15 Storie Donne Partigiane (special screening) Rome, Italy
06.06.15 Bei Chéz Rainer (festival) Warmeloh, Germany
04.06.15 Donne Resistenza Liberazione (special screening) L'Aquila, Italy
09.05.15 Veranstaltung der Falken (special screening) Düsseldorf, Germany
08.05.15 5 corti per la Resistenza (special screening) Peschiera Borromeo, Italy
08.05.15 Disco für alle goes Tag der Befreiung (special screening) Potsdam, Germany
07.05.15 Sputnik Kino (theatrical exhibition) Berlin, Germany
05.05.15 Cottbus befreit (special screening) Cottbus, Germany
03.05.15 Rassegna cinematografica di resistenza (special screening) Correggio, Italy
29.04.15 Kino Zukunft (theatrical exhibition) Berlin, Germany
28.04.15 Kino Zukunft (theatrical exhibition) Berlin, Germany
27.04.15 Kino Zukunft (theatrical exhibition) Berlin, Germany
26.04.15 Il Cerchio di Gaia (special screening) Manduria, Italy
26.04.15 Kino Zukunft (theatrical exhibition) Berlin, Germany
25.04.15 Festa delle resistenze popolari (special screening) Berlin, Germany
25.04.15 Kino Zukunft (theatrical exhibition) Berlin, Germany
25.04.15 IlKino Double-Feature (special screening) Berlin, Germany
25.04.15 IlKino (special screening) Berlin, Germany
24.04.15 Anpi Abbiategrasso (special screening) Abbiategrasso, Italy
24.04.15 25 Aprile Liberi anche di ballare (special screening) Pero, Italy
24.04.15 Zero in Condotta (special screening) Rome, Italy
24.04.15 70 anni di resistenza (special screening) Taranto, Italy
24.04.15 APRILE VIETATO DORMIRE! (special screening) Imola, Italy
24.04.15 Kino Zukunft (theatrical exhibition) Berlin, Germany
24.04.15 Liberazione 2015 (special screening) Leporano, Italy
23.04.15 R-esistenze. Storie di vita e di liberazione (special screening) Cagliari, Italy
23.04.15 Nomadenkino (special screening) Berlin, Germany
23.04.15 Kino Zukunft (theatrical exhibition) Berlin, Germany
23.04.15 Le Resistenti Ieri e Oggi (Udi Reggio Calabria) (special screening) Reggio Calabria, Italy
22.04.15 Cineclub Detour (theatrical exhibition) Rome, Italy
22.04.15 Veranstaltung der Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung (special screening) Bremen, Germany
19.04.15 CinemAperitivo (special screening) Berlin, Germany
18.04.15 Reihe "Widerstand im Faschismus" (special screening) Berlin, Germany
16.04.15 70 ANNI DI RESISTENZA (special screening) Carugate, Italy
13.04.15 Conversations About Cinema: Impact of Conflict (special screening) Belfast, United Kingdom
10.04.15 South Eastern Film Festival (festival) Nashville, United States
29.03.15 Nez International Film Festival (festival) Kolkata, India
22.03.15 Audience Now (festival) New York, United States
07.03.15 Lange Nacht des Frauenfilms (special screening) Innsbruck, Austria
27.12.14 Ichill Manila Film Fest (festival) Manila, Philippines
17.12.14 5th Overlook Film Festival (festival) Rome, Italy
11.12.14 5th Manya Human Rights International Film Festival (festival) Kampala, Uganda
27.11.14 Festival Internacional de Derechos Humanos y Cine (festival) Caracas, Venezuela
26.11.14 Festival Internacional de Derechos Humanos y Cine (festival) Caracas, Venezuela
24.11.14 14. Filmfest FrauenWelten (festival) Tübingen, Germany
10.11.14 8th Vox Feminae Festival (festival) Zagreb, Croatia
02.11.14 Filmfest Biberach (festival) Biberach, Germany
01.11.14 Filmfest Biberach (festival) Biberach, Germany
29.10.14 XI Festival internacional de cine solidario (festival) Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, Spain
25.10.14 12th High Falls film Festival (festival) Rochester, United States
28.09.14 Parallel Crossings (festival) Berlin, Germany
05.09.14 Portobello Film Festival (festival) London, United Kingdom
19.08.14 Cine Campus International Student's Film Festival 2014 (festival) Caguas, Puerto Rico
17.08.14 Cine Campus International Student's Film Festival 2014 (festival) Caguas, Puerto Rico
09.08.14 Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival (festival) Los Angeles, United States
08.08.14 Mpumalanga Short Film Festival (festival) Nelspruit, South Africa
20.05.14 6. Libercine - LGTB and Gender International Film Festival (festival) Buenos Aires, Argentina
01.04.14 Imperfectu International Film and Gender Studies Festival (festival) Tijuana, Mexico
22.03.14 21. Sguardi Altrove Film Festival (festival) Milan, Italy
22.03.14 FrauenFilmTage Wien - Programmkino Wels (festival) Österreich, Austria
13.03.14 FrauenFilmTage 2014 (festival) Vienna, Austria
13.03.14 FrauenFilmTage Wien - Programmkino Wels (festival) Österreich, Austria
12.03.14 FrauenFilmTage Wien - Programmkino Wels (festival) Österreich, Austria
20.01.14 Festival Mundial de Cine Extremo "San Sebastián de Veracruz" (festival) Veracruz, Mexico
29.06.13 Festival dei Popoli (festival) , Italy
23.04.13 T.V.O.D. (special screening) Berlin, Germany
24.02.12 Kulturladen Westend (special screening) Munich, Germany