Friday, September 06, 2013


Audiences and critics at the Venice Film Festival have been impressed not only by Sicilian directors and films featuring Sicily, but also by a certain female politician who has become Sicilian "by adoption".  She is Michela Stancheris, Regional Councillor for Tourism and  Governor of Sicily Rosario Crocetta's right-hand woman.

In Venice to introduce two of the Sicilian films, Miss Stancheris's handling of questions about her possible candidacy for the office of Mayor of her home town of Bergamo was masterful: The idea had first been announced by Mr Crocetta when he was in Bergamo for a meeting and it delighted some residents of that beautiful town whilst surprising others, including the incumbent, rather negatively. Miss Stancheris said she would first like to complete her work in Sicily but that she would consider the proposal seriously if invited to stand. Asked what would be the first thing she would do if elected, she replied that she would create an entertainment centre in Bergamo as, although the city is well-served by its airport, once young people arrive there, there is nothing to do in the evenings.  As for any romantic plans, Miss Stancheris said that she already has a fiancĂ© whose name is Sicily.

But could it be that another career beckons the 31-year-old? An unnamed British film director who saw her at Venice is said to have cried,

"But you look like Diana!"

What do you think? Are they alike?

Michela Stancheris

Diana, Princess of Wales

I'll be watching developments in Bergamo with interest as it was the first Italian city I ever saw and, despite the fact that it is a Lega stronghold, I have a lasting affection for it.

Now, I'm sure you'd like to know about the films in the Festival which have been made by Sicilian directors or which are set in Sicily, so here they are:

Con il fiato sospeso - Costanzia Quatriglio

A 35-minute film but none the less powerful for that and based on a true story:  Anna, a pharmacy student at Catania University, begins some research in the chemistry laboratories there. She soon realises that her working environment is unhealthy and indeed, her fellow-students become ill. Anna's friend Stella, who has dropped out of university, tries to persuade her to stop working in the laboratories but Anna has a dream - to become a qualified pharmacologist. Throughout the film, we hear readings from the real diary of a student called Emanuele, who died of lung cancer in 2003. Five years later the laboratories were closed, after 36 people working or studying in them had become ill.

Via Castellana Bandiera - Emma Dante

Everyone is talking about this film! Two women drivers, one of them played by the director Emma Dante, cause a traffic jam in Palermo and a stand-off ensues. The film can be seen as a homage to the Western but Emma Dante says it is also about principles and the inability to compromise.

Le Donne della Vucciria - Hiam Abbass

Screened in the Giorni degli autori - Venice Days section for independent filmmakers, this is a very short film created as part of the Miu Miu Women's Tales series. Palestinian director Hiam Abass was in Palermo when she was invited to make a film for the project and she immediately knew that the vibrant Vucciria market had to be the background. At the beginning of the film we see Sicilian puppets dressed in Prada clothes and then we see some of the real women of Palermo in celebratory mood. Hiam Abass says she wanted to showcase the city's music, craftsmanship and a "certain kind of femininity".

Summer 82 When Zappa Came to Sicily - Salvo Cuccia

In the Fuori concorso - Not in Competition section: In 1982 Salvo Cuccia, who was doing his military service in the North of Italy, set off for Palermo to see a Frank Zappa concert. Sadly, he didn't arrive in time. Thirty years later, he retraces his steps and remembers his youth. We also meet members of Frank Zappa's family, who are visiting the land of the rock star's ancestors. The film contains previously unseen images from the 1982 concert.

Future Reloaded - 70 Directors for Venice

In addition, Franco Maresco has a short film in the Future Reloaded section, in which 70 directors who have been instrumental in the development of the Festival have been invited to make a short film to celebrate the 70th edition.

Con il fiato sospeso - Trailer

Via Castellana Bandiera - Trailer

Le Donne della Vucciria - Trailer


Unknown said...

Thanks for providing the information. I like your views.
Sicily travel

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thank you, Peter.

RNSANE said...

Lots of movies to see. Actually, I don't think I ever saw a film shot in Sicily.

Patricia said...

Oh I hope there is some way we can see this in the US.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Carmen. There are a lot of brilliant films set in Sicily. Hi, Patricia. I'm sure there will be.

Liz Hinds said...

Been catching up on your blog.

Summer is well on its way out here but I could still enjoy a watermelon granita right now!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Me too, Liz!


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