‘Sometimes / one confuses the pettiness of the world / with the offences of the world. / Ah! / If there were / knives and scissors, awls, picks and harquebuses, / mortars, sickles and hammers, cannons, cannons, dynamite!’
The first part of a trilogy of films based on the work of Elio Vittorini, Sicilia!
(1999) is adapted from the author’s anti-fascist novel Conversations in Sicily
(1939). After many years away, Silvestro returns from northern Italy to the Sicilian countryside of his childhood to visit his mother. The film, shot in black and white, retains the musicality of Vittorini’s language and is made up of a series of conversations the protagonist has with strangers in a port, fellow passengers on a train, his mother, and a knife-sharpener.
) and L'arrotino
(The Knife Sharpener
) consist of re-edited short sequences from Sicilia!.
Sicilia! will be shown on a new 35mm print
, Dirs: Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, France/Italy, 1999, 35mm, b&w, 66 mins., Italian with English subtitles.
, The Wayfarer, Dirs: Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, Italy/France, 2001, 35mm/Digital, b&w, 5 mins., Italian with English subtitles.
, The Knife Sharpener, Dir: Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, Italy/France, 2001, 35mm/Digital, b&w, 7 mins, Italian with English subtitles.