War and Pantelleria in the movie Masbedo

Presented in Venice as part of the Penumbra video art exhibition, it tells the mysterious story of a tragic (second) American bombing organized for film production.

Maspedo, Pantelleria, 2022 in
Maspedo, Pantelleria, 2022 In the “Penumbra”, In Between Art Film Foundation at the Ospedaletto Complex, Venice, 2022. Courtesy of the artists and the In Between Art Film Foundation. Photo: Andrea Rossetti

date of fight movie made during World War II are absolutely amazing: the most famous series of these propaganda materials, Why do we fight?seven films shot in the wake of the troops by some of Hollywood’s most famous directors, including Frank CapraThe supervisor of the entire project, John Ford, John Houston And William Wheeler (This story is reconstructed from a beautiful documentary by Laurent Pozzero, Five are back).

Maspedo, Pantelleria (2022) still from the movie
Maspedo, Pantelleria (2022) still from the movie

Fighting movie on PANTELLERIA

For the first time in history, the cinematic image not only provided a direct recording of facts, but became itself an instrument of war. Very interesting in this sense are the statements made by Capra himself at that time: “I thought it was my duty to show our children the reasons for our war. They were eighteen, these kids, and they knew nothing of the war. They were not soldiers and had no military discipline. They were the worst soldiers in the world when the war broke out. But within two years, they were the best in the world. And there’s a reason for that: They had an open mind. (…) The first thing they did was, watch my movies. And when they saw them, they knew what to do because they fought. They understand that it is not a game. It was true.”
About someone’s story fight movie A shot in Italy focused I Maspedo – (Nicolò Massazza (1973) and Iacopo Bedogni (1970) – in their new movie, Pantelleria (2022), presented in the collective exhibition Penumbra From the In Between Art Film Foundation at the Ospedaletto complex in Venice curated by Alessandro Rabotini with Karima Ashado, Anna Vaz, Emilia Acarnoletti, James Richards, He Xiangyu, Aziz Hazara And Jonathas de AndradeBrazilian artist, author of The Extraordinary Olho da Rua).

Maspedo, Pantelleria, 2022 in
Maspedo, Pantelleria, 2022 In the “Penumbra”, In Between Art Film Foundation at the Ospedaletto Complex, Venice, 2022. Courtesy of the artists and the In Between Art Film Foundation. Photo: Andrea Rossetti

History of the bombing of Pantelleria

The film, at 19 minutes, recounts the dramatic month-long bombing – from May 9 to June 11, 1943 – of the island of Sicily, and according to Bombing prepared by the Allies to allow filming of the film. Through the imaginative and visionary prose of the author Giorgio Fasta (who also explains his text), we delve into the psychological and emotional experience of that horror, in that month when the sky is “made of iron”, and in the accumulation of data, shapes, debris, spaces and time and tattered materials, accompanied by the presence and gaze of a donkey wandering in the fold of Nervi, a symbol The militarization of the island desired by Mussolini, and in the bunkers dug by the Italian army.

Clips and fragments of the original film are projected onto the buildings of Pantelleria today, in a clever and ongoing collision between past and present that questions the meaning of this repetition, and on the (very current) boundary between history and spectacle. Between acting and tragedy. Which is more correct, in fact, the first bombing or the second bombing? Bombs that fall for cameras destroy just like the previous ones, buildings collapse and disintegrate in the same way, but at the same time they are useless. These “cinematic” bombs play the role of real ones, so to speak, and it is precisely these (their photos) that will eventually pass into the “originals”, which will become part of history, replacing the original ones that fell before. to give in …
The tale revitalizes the memories contained in the stories – which were in turn heard, recorded and photographed on the island in the course of a four-year collective process, which actively engaged the community and group that worked on the film. Pantelleria is an example of Italian art’s ability – when it gets serious – to reflect non-rhetorically on the folds and fissures of official history, collective traumas, and events that seem to fall within the dazzling realm but affect concrete in fact, in the forties as well as in recent months and weeks.

– Christian Caliandro

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