Scansione0079
GRASS OF THE IMAGNA VALLEY

Year:
1980
Lenght: 32 min
Copyright: Alberto Cima

Direction, screenplay, cinematography, editing: Alberto Cima

Live sounds


Cast:
Battista Invernizzi, Virginia Locatelli, Erminio Manzoni, Marino Rota, Ester e Battista Mazzoleni, Caterina Vanotti, Rocco Mazzoleni, Maria Canella, Carlo Locatelli, Gioacomino e Giuseppe Cardinetti, Giovanni Dolci, Bernardo Zanella, Giovanni Gustinetti, Giovanni Todeschini.

Songs: Sorelle Frosio e Giovanni Todeschini

Poems: Umberto Mazzoleni

Produced by:
Sistema Bibliotecario Comprensoriale di Sant'Omobono


Subject:

With the backdrop of the tranquil and man-sized landscape of the Imagna Valley, people confess honestly and at times crudely. A culture all tied to the land, to the grass of the Imagna Valley and that bears the mark of toil, humiliation, poverty that pushed many, even the very young, to emigrate.

Review:

Ermanno Comuzio
A quite lively and polemic documentary film on virtues and vices of the Val d’Imagna inhabitants, which kicked up a row at its first public screening.

Luciano Spiazzi
To many encounters, Cima has bowed down with the patient humility of those who lift discreetly the veil of years and sorrow and toil… The result is a philosophy made up of assent to work without revolts, incredible resistance and the same definite refusal of what comes from the outside … From time to time, Cima is appeased by the vision of the grassy Imagna Valley, the shrubby trees, the mountains all around, as if taking a breath of oxygen. Then he plunges into the human subject-matter and comes in contact with a moving existential profundity of utter simplicity. Thus, with what is real. In our opinion, with this film, Cima offers a demonstration of maturity which washes away with frills and disguises. Terse, precise, careful never abusive… Bottom line, a lay vision of life, whose manly and melancholic lullaby of birth and death can never be ignored.

Alberto Pesce
Erba d’Imagna (16mm., colour, 50 minute film) made by Alberto Cima with professional skill and no enchanted smudges nor long-winded tourist- patriotic mawkishness, presents the body and depth of a document originated by the observation of an apparently detached eye, which instead participates and is autonomously alive… More profoundly, Cima was able to arrange in chiasmus the richness of the soul brought about by contemplation of nature and poverty of flesh, as suggested by the toils and sufferings of a poor and difficult existence where everything, birth and death, work and rest, falls ritually, stressed according to the rhythm of seasons … Within the structure, Cima straightforwardly evokes, with strong portraits and sync interviews, a reality which both fascinates and offends him, which he is able to convey notwithstanding the apparent contradictions. He does not polish the secular fate of poverty and solitude of the elderly Imagna people nor does he decorate it: he looks at it honestly with images of essential, terse sobriety. People, places, houses, things acquire a new dimension: visual reality. Especially people, old men and women, caught as in a domestic approach of their usual gestures, in their vernacular, jargon pet phrases, in the darting of a lay, ancient rage or in the religious peacefulness of resignation to fate, outline a unique wholeness of incredible emotional effectiveness which invites to reflection. These are the themes, isolation, old age, alienation, the environmental deterioration, the nostalgia for things and values which belong to the past, themes which insinuate in the viewer, with a sense of admiration for a world of old mountain stocks so immobile but so strong and alive. Anyhow, it is Cima’s language which makes them adequate and indispensable requisites.