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Seven insights into Italian cinema. Archaeology
Portal of the Italian language

Seven insights into Italian cinema. Archaeology

Categories: Culture and creativity -Archaeology and Heritage -Cinema and Audio-visual
Twelve documentaries about archaeological missions, both in Italy and around the world, selected by the most authoritative film festival in this field: Rovereto International Festival of Archaeological Film.
Sette Sguardi sul cinema italiano Archeologia
Sette Sguardi sul cinema italiano Archeologia

The Rovereto International Festival of Archaeological Film was founded in 1990 with the aim of reaching and raising awareness among the general public about archaeological research and the importance of protecting cultural heritage; every year, it organizes an international film festival, currently managed by the Civic Museum Foundation of Rovereto, which also digitizes material and constantly updates a dedicated online database.

Please find below the selection of films made available to the network of Italian Cultural Institutes in the world throughout 2021.

  • Mare Nostrum. Storie del mare di Roma (Mare Nostrum. Stories from the sea of Rome) by Guido Fuganti (2020), 21
    A documentary film about sailing in ancient times and trading across the seas in the years of Trajan’s empire
  • Paolo Orsi. La meravigliosa avventura (Paolo Orsi. A wonderful adventure) by Andrea Andreotti (2019), 67
    The story of a leading player in Italian archaeology in the Mediterranean, between the 19th and 20th centuries.
  •  Sicilia Grand Tour by Giorgio Italia (2019), 90
    Giorgio, a young university student, goes on an unprecedented exploration of Sicily through the papers and sketches of French painter Jean Houel, after discovering the charm of the “Voyage pittoresque des isles de Sicile, de Malte et de Lipari” in the library.
  •  Mesopotamia in memoriam: appunti su un patrimonio violato (Mesopotamia in memoriam: notes on a violated heritage) by Alberto Castellani (2019), 48
    Looting by ISIS, pillaging by different regimes: a documentary on the inestimable losses to the archaeological heritage of Iraq and Syria.
  •  I Leoni di Lissa (The Lions of Lissa) by Nicolò Bongiorrno (2019), 76′
    An action/adventure documentary film that evokes the story of the legendary naval battle of Lissa (1866), a battle that has become iconic in the history of seafaring.
  •  Pecunia non olet by Nicola Barile (2018), 40
    Productive activities in ancient Pompeii would create all sorts of odours. Can the work of archaeologists restore the lost scents of antiquity?
  •  Eroi, miti e leggende alle origini delle città del Lazio (Heroes, myths and legends at the origins of Lazio’s towns) by Alessandro Grassi (2018), 31
    A journey between history and legend, through the places and stories that have left a lasting mark on the epic identity at the origins of Lazio’s towns.
  •  L’arte in guerra (Art at war) by Massimo Becattini (2017), 64
    A number of officials were appointed to safeguard Italy’s artistic heritage during the Second World War, and they risked their lives to successfully hide and recover works through adventurous intelligence work.
  •  La casa dei dirigibili. L’Hangar di Augusta tra passato e presente (The airship house. The Augusta hangar then and now) by Lorenzo Daniele (2016), 50
    An extraordinary example of industrial archaeology, built during the First World War and since forgotten; today, it is seeking redemption as a place of peace and culture.
  •  Nuovi orizzonti in Cambogia (New horizons in Cambodia) by Isabella Astengo (2015), 60
    Thanks to the commitment of two important Italian missions involved with the restoration of the Angkor Wat site, this documentary tells the story of the challenges facing archaeological research in Cambodia, an issue that is intertwined with the dramatic story of the genocide against intellectuals that happened here 40 years ago.
  • La passione della Memoria – Il Mondo di Arslan Tepe (The passion of memory – The world of Arslan Tepe) by Isabella Astengo (2013), 30
    Professor Marcella Frangipane tells the story of this Italian archaeological mission in Arslatepe, in eastern Anatolia, after working on the excavation of this extraordinarily charming site for more than 30 years.
  • Hierapolis by Folco Quilici (2008) 28
    A journey to discover Pamukkale – the famous site in theRiver Menderes Valley, where the water  creates wonderful limestone formations – and the remains of ancient Hierapolis, a Greek, Roman and Christian city.

For further information on Italian archaeological missions in the world, UNESCO sites, the conventions governing the safeguarding of cultural heritage during armed conflict and how cultural assets are recovered and restored, please visit the dedicated pages on this website.


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