How do you say mensch in Italian?
Or is it akin to the proverbial need of eskimos to have more than a dozen words for snow?
Watching Where the Clouds Go— a documentary in the style of a patchwork quilt weaving together glimpses of the many ways Italian humanists have responded to the global refugee crisis —these thoughts come to mind.
We meet a Bologna theater director assembling newly arrived refugees into a street theater spectacle parade demonstrating the pains prompting their flights. We meet a father and mother of four so overcome with the visions of refugees dying en route to Europe, they search their souls to find that the only thing they have to give is the use of their big house to house some refugees. Later we learn from the refugees how the roof over their head was in some ways the least of it. We meet the mayor of an entire village—Riace—that re-invents itself as a haven for refugees, giving its residents new work and new meaning along the way.
Filmmaker Massimo Ferrari paints this landscape of humanity with love. He also brings an expert cinematographer eye for the breathtaking beauty of Riace’s landscape, the centerpiece of hearth in domestic bliss, and the transformation of young women one infers are likely victims of human trafficking into explosions of joy.
Italian Cinema Week Kick-Off
How fitting that this film is the kick-off to the first annual Italian Cinema Week — Fare Cinema—in Chicago. Whether they intended to or not, the Italian Cultural Institute has put together one heckuva reminder why you want to travel to Italy—which most of us who have been there don’t really need. More, it’s a reminder in these dark hours that some in the center of the storm refuse to go along with barbaric instincts.
Ferrari will be present for a post screening discussion as will many of the other film makers in this four-day event. Details are below.
Tuesday, May 22, 6 pm:
Screening of the documentary Where the Clouds Go (“Dove Vanno le Nuvole”) 2016, by Massimo Ferrari 75 min.
Screening of the short film The Interview 2017, by Massimo Ferrari 6min
Wednesday, May 23, 6 pm
Screening of the documentary Andrea Doria: Are the Passengers Saved? (“Andrea Doria: I Passeggeri Sono Salvi?”) 2016, by Luca Guardabascio 77 min.
Saturday, May 26, 6 pm
Screening of the film The Ideal City (“La Città Ideale”) 2012, by Luigi Lo Cascio 105 min.
Tuesday, May 29, 6 p.m.
Clothes vs Costumes: A Lecture by Costume Designer Anna Lombardi
The Italian Cultural Institute
500 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1450
Free admission, advance reservations recommended.