[WATCH] Pulp Fiction star Harvey Keitel set for Sette Giugno movie on Maltese uprising

Film about 1919 Maltese uprising will feature Harvey Keitel and A Clockwork Orange star Malcolm McDowell

Hollywood stars Harvey Keitel and Malcolm McDowell are set to star in feature film that will tell the story of Sette Giugno, considered by many to be Malta’s first real revolution.

McDowell is expected to play the role of Colonel Saville while Keitel will play acting governor Walter Charles Hunter Blair. 

The Maltese film, ‘Storbju’, which will be billed in English as ‘Just noise’ will start filming next month.

Speaking at a press conference announcing the film, producer Jean Pierre Magro said that he didn’t think it was possible to make a story about Malta, in Maltese, and sell it to an international market.

“People used to laugh when I told them I wanted to make stories about the Maltese people. It’s just not something we’re used to doing,” he said, adding that his assumption had now been proved wrong given that the film has been sold internationally.  

He said that times were changing that the Maltese are no longer going to follow trends. “No, now the Maltese will set the trends. This is not just our story, it’s the story of the whole nation, and something we can all be proud of.”

English actor Malcolm McDowell, known for his boisterous and often villainous roles, includes the social misanthrope Alex DeLarge in A Clockwork Orange.

American actor Harvey Keitel has starred in films such as Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Mean Streets, Taxi Driver and The Duellists.

McDowell will feature in the film as Colonel Saville, while Keitel will be governor Charles Hunter Blair.

The film's director Davide Ferrario said he was excited to showcase Malta to an international market, not as a set dressing pretending to be another location, but as Malta itself. 

“It’s a wonderful place and despite only having been here a month, I have already discovered so many beautiful places I want to showcase to the world,” he said.

One example was the Manoel Theatre, which he said he had included in the script after visiting it. “I was convinced that it needed to be a scene in the movie – it’s simply wonderful, and no one would think a place such as this would have existed in Malta in 1919.”  

Ferrario also noted the uniqueness of the Maltese language, which will play a big role in the film. “Hearing Maltese being spoken, like most things in Malta, I’ve come to release it’s a mix of different cultures, but still its own language in its own right. 

Minister for culture, Owen Bonnici said that he was hopeful that the film would be a stepping stone towards a stronger film industry. “I want people to know our story since 1919 Malta has transformed in a lot of ways into something unrecognizable, but what will always remain is our history and culture.” 

Bonnici said that that the medium of film was selected because it was a powerful tool that could connect with everyone including the young. “I think this film will be a proud moment for the whole nation.”

Tourism Minister, Konrad Mizzi added that, that Malta was always evolving, and that the government was now focusing on pushing the boundaries in the film industry. 

READ MORE: Why 1919 is important: ‘It was the first time the Maltese bit the hand that fed them’