The Walls of Bergamo

Le Mura di Bergamo

International Forum

COUNTRY: Italien YEAR: 2023 RUNTIME: 137 min

DIRECTED BY: Stefano Savona

LANGUAGE(S): Italian

SUBTITLES: English

SCRIPT: Stefano Savona

PRODUCED BY: Andrea Iervolino, Monika Bacardi, Ferdinando Dell’Omo, Danielle Maloni

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Stefano Savona

EDITED BY: Francesca Sofia Allegra

SCORE: Giulia Tagliavia

SCREENINGS

SYNOPSIS

Bergamo, March 2020. The city, within its walls, is a sick body. It is a collection of cells, of tissues, of organs that can no longer communicate. The streets have emptied, exchanges zeroed out, encounters forbidden. Disconnected from others each body is alone within its walls. Every image, every memory is a fragile fragment of the mosaic that until yesterday made up the city. In the hospital, in the darkness of the night, there are the paralyzed bodies of those who can no longer breathe. Doctors and nurses are the janitors of these bodies to be consoled, to be resuscitated, to be sedated, to be disposed of, bodies that hold within them fragments of memories that emerge from the darkness of consciousness. After the nightmares of this endless night, the survivors awaken in an unfamiliar city. The desire to return home is strong but equally strong is the terror of not finding those they left behind. They cross glances, searching the faces behind the masks for confrontation and comfort. In their silences there is a very strong need to find the words to begin to share what has happened to each of them, gratitude and guilt for having survived. The body of the city is a devastated organism trying to fight back. Doctors, nurses, patients, volunteers, and even those who have not directly experienced the pain of illness, all seek their own role in the city’s healing process. Collecting and telling the stories of those who are no longer there becomes a way to reframe private and collective mourning and to reason about the need for a new rituality of death. THE WALLS OF BERGAMO is a film that makes connections between memory and the future, to accompany this collective, along the early stages of the patient work of recomposing the intimate, familial and social fabric that the pandemic has torn apart. The protagonist of this story is the city, a social body that, like any living organism, consists first and foremost of the infinite connections between its parts. The words, looks, gestures, and silences that this narrative bears witness to are an attempt to account for some of these connections, with the hope that, by making them visible, the cinematic narrative can help consolidate them.

Stefano Savona

Stefano Salvona, born in Palermo in 1969, began working as a photographer in 1995. In 2010, he co-founded the Picofilms production company, Paris, alongside Penelope Bortoluzzi. He has been filming documentaries since the late 1990s, which have won numerous awards at international film festivals.

Siciliatunisia (2000), Un Confine di Specchi (2002), Primavera in Kurdistan (2006), Il Tuffo della Rondine (2008), Cast Lead (2009), Spezzacatene (2010), Palazzo delle Aquile (2011), Tahrir – Liberation Square (2011), Samouni Road (2018), The Walls of Bergamo (2023)

PRODUCTION: ILBE Group Film Productions (segreteria@aifilm.it)

WORLD SALES: Fandango Sales (fandango@fandango.it)