In the late ’60s, Italy faced much political upheaval; fascists and anarchists battled for power, and terrorism was rampant. In Roan Johnson’s film, this situation serves as the backdrop for a comic story that skewers politics of all stripes. Renzo, an aspiring musician, auditions for a band with his pal Fabio and they both become caught up with a paranoid revolutionary named Pino who is convinced that there’s about to be a military coup in Rome. As the trio makes a run for the border, fear and haplessness reach a crescendo of panic and the boys inadvertently create an international incident. Based on a true story told to the director by one of the event’s real-life protagonists, The First on the List combines screwball comic flair underscored by sly political satire.