Spettacolo: a Small Tuscan Village Tells its own Story
It began with a story of heroes rising to the occasion. A story that only the villagers could tell. In the tiny Tuscan village of Monticchiello three hundred villagers sent 70 young men into the woods to stand off against the Nazis and the Fascists. It was this story that created Teatro Povero and their autodramas, a community storytelling form of theatre that has been performed each summer in this tiny village for over 50 years. Faced with an uncertain future, the documentary Spettacolo pulls back the curtain on what might be their final show.
Spettacolo follows Andrea, the village’s director of their productions. As he details his process, he takes the audience along in his creative journey. Villagers gather to discuss what they want to talk about, and that begins the creation of their play. Villagers play themselves and all ages join in the production. The film documents the village’s struggles to keep the tradition going; an aging and dwindling population, the loss of funding and what happens when the story is too personal. The story also serves as a discussion on modern life, the role of tradition, and the relationship of the individual to their community as we see both shaped and influenced by the other. A wonderful story set in a classic Tuscan village.
Spettacolo, the Italian word for performance, premiered at SXSW in 2017. Directed by Jeff Malmberg and Chris Shellen the film is now on Amazon Prime. For those desiring to know more the theatre company has a website http://teatropovero.it/en/
See the official trailer here.
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Jennie Olson Six, Content Creator
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