In 1961, a group of fearless speleologists from Northern Italy embarks on an expedition to the pristine southern Italian region of Calabria, where an uncharted cave is to be found. For the first time in history, they expose the seven hundred meters deep Abisso del Bifurto and chart all its curves and corners. They are in turn exposed to the inquiring gaze of an old shepherd, sitting always in the same spot to oversee his livestock grazing. While the shepherd knows the area like the back of his hand, the speleologists are literally groping in the dark. By throwing burning paper and pebbles down the unperceivable abyss, they try to see and hear how deep it goes.
With his previous film Le Quattro Volte, Michelangelo Frammartino asserted himself as one of the living masters of cinema. Waiting for more than 10 years for his next feature turned out to be worth it, as Il Buco delivers an equally calming and immense cinematic experience. Frammartino captures the traditional and the transcendent with a simplicity and spirituality unique to his cinematic voice. The plot setup of this film is so simple that it at times masquerades as a contemporary, poetic documentary, even though it is set in the 60s.
The screening will be followed by a (pre-recorded) conversation where Stefan Malešević, our cinema curator, goes in conversation with Frammartino, trying to discover the intricacies of creating such a delicate and profound film.
Il Buco premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where the film’s mystical beauty won the Jury Prize.
About Michelangelo Frammartino
Michelangelo Frammartino was born in Milan in 1968. He studied Architecture at the Politecnico di Milano, where he developed a passion for the relationship between physical space and (moving) images.
Frammartino’s debut Il Dono (2003), a no-budget feature film, shot in his parents’ village in Calabria, premiered at the Locarno Film Festival. Frammartino’s second feature, Le Quattro Volte (2010) premiered in Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes Film Festival. The film won the Europa Cinemas “Best European Film” award in Cannes, and the main prize at CPH:DOX, and was the 2010 Directors’ Fortnight “Coup de coeur”.