Italian with English subtitles
LEAVE THE SAINTS ALONE
By Gianfranco Pannone
Leave the Saints Alone takes us on a fascinating journey across a century of religious processions, feasts and other observances that testify to the unwavering piety of Italy’s masses. Largely rooted in the concerns of an agrarian society, the populace’s devotion centres on the veneration of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the patron saints through close engagement with sacred art used in these cyclical rituals. These range from all manner of crosses to sculptures, paintings, tapestries and other objects that depict saints in accordance with religious iconography. From the southern villages of Sicily to remote mountain districts in the north, such art is a manifestation of the sacred and a vital part of public life.
Director Gianfranco Pannone draws on vintage documentaries and newsreels from national archives, footage of present-day practices, first-hand accounts from locals, as well as the writings on the sacred by Italian artists and intellectuals such as Pier Paolo Pasolini, Mario Soldati and Antonio Gramsci. Narrated by esteemed Italian actors, Sonia Bergamasco and Fabrizio Gifuni, and accompanied by Ambrogio Sparagna’s enchanting score, the film reveals the authentic passion and joy with which Italian regional communities come together to celebrate their faith. In doing so, Pannone visualises a longing for the sacred, increasingly lost in the name of progress.
Leave the Saints Alone premiered at the 11th Rome Film Festival (Italy, 2016).
Gianfranco Pannone (b. 1963) is a founding member of Doc/it, the Italian association for documentary filmmaking. He teaches documentary filmmaking at Roma Tre University, the National Film School (Italy) and the Suor Orsola Benincasa University of Naples. His notable films include three documentaries referred to as the American Trilogy (1991–1998), which explore the impact of the “American Dream” on Italian society, and Latina/Littoria (2001), named as the Best Documentary Feature at the 27th Torino Film Festival (Italy, 2011). He holds a degree in history and theory of cinema from the University of Rome, and a degree in film direction from the Experimental Centre of Cinematography in Rome.
Italian with English subtitles
Approximately 75 minutes
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- Rating: PG
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