RetrospectivesPordenone Docs Fest
ITALIAN DOC, FUTURE!
Starting this year, the festival presents the new section Italian Doc, Future! dedicated to films by Italian directors selected for their originality. Works that, distributed throughout the year, are worthy of a longer path in theaters.
Some time after their first screening, the Italian Doc, Future! section reintroduces these films to “re-innovate” the attention of viewers and the Industry world, from exhibitors to other industry insiders (festival programmers, broadcasters, distributors…) in large delegation always present in Pordenone.
Each film is introduced by the author or author, in tandem with one or a director of absolute quality, capable of original production and distribution paths. The conclusion is entrusted to a dynamic Q&A: a diptych, a confrontation, a fresh and forward-looking dialogue.
Italian Doc, Future! enhances the films that the festival has chosen and appreciated in order to increase their media visibility and build new paths to come.
CORPO DEI GIORNISantabelva, 2022, 96'
TARAFrancesca Bertin, Volker Sattel, 2022, 86'
IL POSTOMattia Colombo, Gianluca Matarrese, 2022, 75'
WOMEN WITH CAMERAS
a program curated by Federico Rossin for Pordenone Docs Fest 2023
Which films have most powerfully documented the development of the thought, actions, and history of the Italian feminist movement? What aesthetics and politics were at stake for the young post-’68 militants and the many women with cameras, joyfully active in the great revolution of feminism in Italy? How did the forms of the cinema of the real articulate with the needs of propaganda, the ideas of theory with the material needs of filmic praxis? What films can today’s young feminist activists look to with respect and pride, recognizing in them the fundamental first steps of a cultural battle still open and in the making?
The documentary cinema that accompanied Italian feminism during the key-decade of the 1970s and early 1980s was-when studied today with the eyes of the historian and archivist-perhaps the least ideological and certainly the least theoretical among Western ones. In Anglo-Saxon countries, the classical documentary is accused by female gaze theorists of propagating a false realism that masks the truth of reality and does not care to deconstruct the gaze of those behind the camera and its ideological master. In Italy, the aesthetic-political refinements of Feminist Film Theory would arrive almost immediately in a few key books and journals, in festival catalogs, and a little later in university classrooms, but very little would be translated into the filmic achievements of collectives and filmmakers. And perhaps this was really a good thing: because if elsewhere they intellectualized to the extreme, frustrating to the point of masochism the spectator and his desire to see and know, certainly producing a very refined cinema but basically for the few and therefore basically classy, in Italy they paid more attention to the content, to the message, and often got their hands dirty with the means of propaganda, of the filmic pamphlet, of intervention television, of militant cinema. Women directors were making films for all women to change lives and society, using all the weapons that low-cost cinema could grant them.
While we certainly and reluctantly cannot say that we have ever had in Italy a Chantal Akerman, a Helke Sander or a Věra Chytilová (and alas, neither Sofia Scandurra nor Elda Tattoli have been, although they deserve to come out of the shadow of oblivion today), we can, however, be very happy to have had Annabella Miscuglio, who flanked the brilliant formalisms of her experimental films with the choice to throw herself into the democratic agon of mass-media and militant film-essay (with her companions of the Feminist Cinema Collective of Rome), or the pioneers of public television (Liliana Cavani, Maricla Boggio, Tilde Capomazza, Loredana Rotondo, Paola Faloja), or Dacia Maraini with her films straddling symbolism and militant inquiry, or Adriana Monti who knew how to reinvent collective creation by combining it with a real and not abstractly theoretical process of emancipation, or Rosalia Polizzi who recounted with strength and commitment the struggles and achievements of women, or Isabella Bruno who as a very young filmmaker with super 8 deconstructed with handcrafted grace the pillars of Italic patriarchy. It is to them, and to so many other women of Italian feminist documentary cinema who came after them and whose heirs they are (Alina Marazzi above all), that we want to pay tribute with this retrospective and this critical filmography – which is not intended to be exhaustive or academic but a useful research tool – by showing and pointing out works that for so many years remained buried in the archives and that, only in recent years and thanks to passionate historians and curators like Annamaria Licciardello (to whom we owe a great deal, and undoubtedly the idea and major corpus of this event), today we can finally go back to see or see again. A breath of fresh air for all and sundry!