Beyond the Wall

 
  • Location: Gemona del Friuli, FVG, Italy
  • Type: documentary film project
  • Role: idea, writing, locations and actors scouting, directing, camera
  • Client: I Bravi Ragazzi
 
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Symbol of resilience.

Gemona is a small town surrounded by mountains located in the northeastern region of Friuli.
In 1976, a series of earthquakes destroyed the majority of the town and left almost 1,000 people dead.
The people of Gemona, already historically considered to be reserved and hard-working, became a symbol of resilience and an example of independent reconstruction in Italy.
In refusing the programme offered by the government, they claimed that they could rebuild their homes by themselves.

And so they did.


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Celebration of glory.

There's a street artists’ crew in Gemona called Bravi Ragazzi (Goodfellas) which has organized ten editions of an international graffiti festival and colored thousands of square meters of walls all over the town.
When they asked me whether I wanted to realize a video for the 40th anniversary of the earthquake, initially I said no: dozens of videos had already been realized over the years. When they said they would give me a completely clean sheet, I eventually accepted.

I had nine days to shoot and no script when I started, but a definite mission: to celebrate everyday glory through age-old symbols of daily life.


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Redemption of the muse.

Right after the first earthquake, the majority of national TV networks sent journalists to document the tragedy.
Possibly, the most famous interview was of a girl called Lucia who was asked why she didn't look distraught despite the destruction.
Her response was that there's no time for sorrow because there's a lot to rebuild.

Although these words served as inspiration to many, she has been sorry ever since, because unlike many others, she didn’t lose anyone in the earthquake.


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If you can't bring it down,,

color it.  

After the tragedy, the whole community experienced a phase of solidarity and cooperation and yet this spirit didn't last long.

When new houses and walls were rebuilt, the community became even more isolated than before.

Two generations later, a crew of street artists broke down these divisions by painting many walls during more than a decade of events in the name of sharing, dialogue and love for their town.