GOODBYE DARLING, I'M OFF TO FIGHT
ITALY 74 MIN
After a painful break-up with her boyfriend in NYC, Italian actress and fashion model Chantal Ughi discovered that Muay Thai was the only way to deal with her rage and to confront the violence she suffered as a child. She went to Thailand to train for four weeks, but ended up moving there for five years, training and fighting, modifying both mind and body to become as strong as a man, stronger than a man, and reaching the highest level possible in the martial art. Now, after a one-year hiatus, Chantal is back in the ring, ready to fight her demons and to reopen old wounds, as she attempts to become world champion again.
Born in 1978 in Livorno, Tuscany, Simone Manetti is an Italian film editor and director. He graduated in film editing from the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (the Italian National Film School). He edited the short film FIB 1477 (2006) directed by Lorenzo Sportiello (Official Selection at the 63rd Venice Film Festival) and began working with director Paolo Virzì, editing the documentary L’uomo che aveva picchiato la testa (2009) and the feature film The First Beautiful Thing (2010), which was the Italian entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards and for which Simone was nominated for Best Editing at the Italian Film Academy’s David di Donatello Awards in 2010, and for Best Editing at Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists’ Silver Ribbon Awards. He edited Tatanka (2011), a feature film directed by Giuseppe Gagliardi and written by Roberto Saviano. He edited the feature films Mozzarella Stories (2011), by Edoardo De Angelis, and I più grandi di tutti (The Greatest of All) (2012), directed by Carlo Virzì (Official Selection at the Torino Film Festival 2012), and the internationally acclaimed Italian TV series 1992, directed by Giuseppe Gagliardi.
He is also a photojournalist for the Italian editions of magazines such Rolling Stone, Look Lateral, Vanity Fair and National Geographic. A New Family, his first short documentary film as a director, shot in Cambodia, premiered at the 2014 BFI London Film Festival and was nominated for a Silver Ribbon Award. It won an Amnesty International Special Mention and was nominated for a Golden Frog for Best Cinematography at Camerimage in Poland. Goodbye Darling, I’m Off to Fight is his first feature documentary.
A journalist friend of mine told me about an Italian woman that had been a fashion model in Japan, an actress in Italy and an underground singer in NYC before deciding to reinvent her life again by moving to Thailand, where she fought and became a Muay Thai World Champion.
I decided to contact her because I was curious and fascinated by the many lives she had lived. Unfortunately, at that time she was back in Italy, out of the ring after 53 fights. But we kept in touch and I could clearly feel she had something to say, a message to give, something secret to unveil, something that was the engine of her actions. She gave me her pictures and her diary, and finally I was able to enter into her world and learn her story.
Her diaries, her pictures and the archival material were the first elements that suggested the composition of an intimate and sincere portrait, not fearing the fact that other directors had tried to tell this same story in the past, but for various reasons had failed. One day she called me to tell me she would be back in the ring in one month, in Thailand, in front of the Royal Family, to try to regain the world title.
With producer Alfredo Covelli, who immediately supported the project, we decided to start the production right away. One month later, we were living in a Muay Thai Camp, following Chantal in her new adventure. We discovered her complicated inner world, as she courageously revealed to us, day by day, all those demons she was fighting against, those childhood ghosts that were hidden in her heart, that forced her to change her life, to challenge and to defeat all sort of rivals, turning her into a strong and emancipated woman.
So thank you, Chantal, for having revealed your soul in this film. I hope that your message of strength and self-determination will reach the people that need it.
- Newport Beach Film Festival, USA 2016
- Biografilm International Film Festival — Best Italian Film and Special Jury Award for Best Debut Feature, Italy 2016
Main Competition 2017