Director: Andrea Alborno, Production: Andrea Alborno, Language: Italian/French, Italy, 2022, 26′, Rights: World excluding Italy San Marino and the Vatican and Switzerland
A documentary following the life of Joseph-Samuel Farinet (1845-1880) aka Robin Hood of the Alps, born in the Aosta Valley the roguish charmer, a lover of wine and women and an escaped convict, Farinet was a 19th-Century counterfeiter and a legend of the Alps, even if the myth that now surrounds him is more colourful than the reality.
After fleeing from authorities in his native Italy where he was wanted on counterfeit charges, Farinet arrived in the Valais in 1869 and once again began minting fake money – specifically, 20 centime coins dated 1850. To court favour with the poverty-stricken locals, he was generous with his forged currency, in return gaining food, shelter and protection from the authorities who pursued him. In doing so, he not only evaded capture for many years but also liberated local people from debt, something that later earned him the nickname Robin Hood of the Alps.
In 1880, at the age of 35, Farinet was finally cornered by police in a gorge above the medieval Valais village of Saillon where he fell, jumped or was possibly killed – a mysterious death that only added to the intrigue of his life.