a_life_elsewhere
A LIFE ELSEWHERE

Year:
2004
Length: 99 min
Copyright: Alberto Cima

Direction, screenplay, cinematography and editing: Alberto Cima.
with the collaboration of Paola Ratti.
Live sounds
English Italian French Subtitles

Cast:
Lorenzo Pellegrini, Pietro Milesi, Ernesto Carminati, Vittorino Pellegrini, Rosa Mazzoleni, Matteo Valceschini.

Financed:
by Region Lombardy and Algra Spa, this film is inside the collection of film-documents of the Centro Studi Valleimagna.



Subject:

This film is the special result of a meeting among persons who have a whole life to tell, and the author. Always woodcutter, Lorenzo has spent his whole life abroad, first in France and then in Switzerland. His body, doubled up for the toils of a lifetime, carries with lightness his seventy-three years of age on to the top of 40 metres high fir trees. And his work, in the endless expanse of beeches and fir trees of the Risoux, is scientific and impassioned. He lives alone since his wife has been hospitalized in a clinic in Lausanne and one of his sons died, victim of an accident in the woods. Anyway he has not lost his smiling personality; he loves nature and lives with irony and generosity his relationship with other emigrants. With them, in the wood, Lorenzo builds the coal pile for transforming the beech branches into coal trough the old custom performed in days and nights. The camera looks and listens to them with respect, and portrays an unforeseen world that seems remote to us, but shakes our about vain concepts.

Review:

Franco Colombo
Il bosco dove il lavoro quotidiano diventa poesia. "A life elsewhere" is an enthralling movie because it entwines characters and environments into a completely true reality where poetry presents the harshness of real life and becomes one with nature, silent and mysterious mother of everything.

Lorenzo, who approaches the camera in an exceptionally natural way and, we might add: he fells, saws, thins out (climbing trees the age notwithstanding), stacks wood.

He lives alone, heroically bent, with the waggling dog Fen next to him, since his wife, alas, has been hospitalized, we believe without possibilities of treatment, in a clinic of Lausanne. Cima films all this and more, with love and without emphasis, relinquishing all gewgaws, presenting only plain and blunt pictures.
There is no musical commentary nor voice over. You can only hear the noises of work: the chain saw, the zigzagging of the sickle, the engine of the truck used to transport logs; and the voices of the woodcutters.
His language is unpolished and intense, accustomed to delve hearts in order to render their essence on screen with affection and trust. In the tracks of Olmi, or Piavoli’s “Voci nel tempo”.