Alexander J. Seiler tells tales of Italian emigrants at the Specchia Cinema del reale Festival
by Vittoria Scarpa
20/07/2012 - Screenings, exhibitions, installations, workshops and live music will soon join forces to promote documentary at the Festa di Cinema del reale, whose 10th edition will be held at Specchia (Lecce region, Puglia) from 25 to 28 July.
Among this year’s guests of honour are one of the great European documentary makers, Switzerland’s Alexander J. Seiler, who won the 1963 Golden Palm for Short Film with A fleur d’eau. His work has always been intimately bound to the history of Italy, notably his Siamo italiani (photo), a 1964 film on the negative reception Italian immigrants received in Switzerland. Screening at Specchia is the ideal sequel to Siamo italiani, Il vento di settembre (2002), an investigation into ‘return emigration’. After 40 years spent in Switzerland, the journey in the opposite direction is like a new uprooting.
The festival will also host the best of Italian documentary from last season, with titles like Gustav Hofer and Luca Ragazzi’s Italy: Love It or Leave It, a journey across Italy in search of good reasons to love it or leave it; Mariangela Barbanente’s Ferrhotel, a story of a small Somali community staying in a run-down hotel near Bari station, and Benoit Felici’s Unfinished Italy, an ironic tale on the unfinished, the most common architectural style in Italy from the post-war period to today.
Also screening at the event will be Encardia - La pietra che danza by Angelos Kovotsos, a film exploring the unfailing link between Italy and Greece through the Griko dialect, still spoken today in certain areas of the south. Other films featuring are two shorts by two great, recently deceased directors: Vittorio De Seta’s Isole di fuoco and Ansano Giannarelli’s Analisi del lavoro. Among its guests, the festival will welcome Daniele Vicari (Diaz [trailer, film focus]) and Stefano Savona (Tahrir Liberation Square [trailer]).
(Translated from Italian)