Ohjaus/Director: Gianfranco Rosi
Käsikirjoitus/Screenplay: Gianfranco Rosi, Niccolò Bassetti (tarina/story)
Kuvaus/Cinematography: Gianfranco Rosi
Leikkaus/Editing: Jacopo Quadri
Ääni/Sound: Gianfranco Rosi, Stefano Grosso, Riccardo Spagnol, Giuseppe D’Amato
Esiintyjät/Cast: Cesare, Paolo, Amelia, Roberto, Francesco, Filippo, Xenia, Gaetano
Tuotanto/Production: Doclab, La Femme Endormie, Rai Cinema
Tuottaja/Producer: Marco Visalberghi
Esityskopio/Print Source: Doc & Film International
Esitysformaatti/Format: DCP or HD
Midnight Sun Film Festival (MSFF), Sodankylä.
In the presence of Gianfranco Rosi introduced by Otto Kylmälä.
Cinema Lapinsuu, 17 June 2016
Otto Kylmälä in the MSFF catalog: "When Sacro GRA won the main award at Venice Film Festival, the news came as a surprise to many. However, the win in a top-quality contest was well deserved. The main cause for the surprise reaction was the fact that this was the first documentary ever to win the esteemed award. It is hardly a surprise to the Sodankylä audience that art of this calibre can truly rise above formulaic fiction films."
"The Sacro GRA (= the sacred Grande Raccordo Anulare) is an immensely big ring road that circles around Rome. Rosi’s documentary collage gathers together a cavalcade of colourful characters that all live along the throbbing artery of this metropolis. The group includes eel fishermen, noblemen, aging prostitutes and an empathetic ambulance driver called Roberto."
"Rosi got the inspiration for his two-year filming project from Italo Calvino’s novel Invisible Cities, in which Marco Polo makes up trips to non-existent cities as he explains them to Chinese emperor Kublai Khan. In a Calvino-like manner, Rosi whips up invisible worlds and confronts down-and-out people and the ring road residents through an empathetic lens. The portraits and moments of the film show that the international director’s heart still beats for the Italians, too."
"As a final road map for the viewing experience: the most important thing in the search for the Holy Grail is not the destination but the journey." (OK)
AA: Sacro GRA is a documentary film, but it also brings to mind a special group of fictional road movies or road sequences in Godard (Week End), Tati (Trafic), and Fellini (Roma - the most gigantic traffic jam of all times, imagined by Fellini, no doubt inspired by Godard, takes place on the very same GRA).
Sacro GRA can also be seen to belong to the esteemed genre of city symphonies. It is a vision of Rome seen from its outer ring. Fellini explored the eight layers of Rome as if they were Dante's circles of hell. Here we observe the entire spectrum of life from one single circle only.
Sacro GRA also belongs to the tradition of multi-character studies (Querschnittfilm, omnibus stories, Un carnet du bal, La Ronde, Preminger, Scola, Altman...).
We witness ordinary life in tenement houses next to the ring road. Gianfranco Rosi has the talent to win the confidence to access the intimate sphere, the private lives of the people living there. We feel like eavesdroppers but everything was shot via permission only.
We learn to know special people: an ambulance driver, a nobleman in his castle, a world class scientist fighting insects (red palm weevils) that are killing millions of palms around Rome, and people worrying about the fate of eels which need to navigate all the way from the Sargasso sea where they reproduce. There are prostitutes, including transvestites. There are sacred scenes and profane scenes. Rosi himself lives in his van 24 hours observing this night and day.
It is as urban as it can get, yet nature is nearby. There is a flock of sheep grazing on the grass, there are dying palms, imperilled eels in the river; the fate of nature is at stake. Focusing on the GRA ring road we build a view of the world.
Rosi is a terrific director-cinematographer who can achieve amazing intimacy as well as epic views of the thunderous traffic on the GRA. He handles the camera well in illuminating close-ups, in distant shots, and in slow panoramic shots on courtyards.
BEYOND THE JUMP BREAK: DIRECTOR'S NOTES
SACRO GRA PRESS KIT
A documentary by Gianfranco Rosi
Doclab - La Femme Endormie / Italy - France / 2013 / 83' / HD
After the India of Varanasi’s boatmen, the American desert of the dropouts, and the Mexico of the narco-assassin, Gianfranco Rosi has decided to tell the tale of a part of his own country, roaming and filming for over two years in a minivan on Rome’s giant ring road - the Grande Raccordo Anulare, or GRA - to discover the invisible worlds and possible futures harbored in this area of constant turmoil. Elusive characters and fleeting apparitions emerge from the background of this winding zone.
An Invisible Guide
I carried Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities with me as I was scouting locations for the film. It is a book about travel, which I see as the process that unites a place and its inhabitants in the confusion and desires that are generated by city life and that we ultimately draw into ourselves. The book advances along myriad paths and allows itself to be carried along by a series of mental states that overtake and overlap one another. Its structure is dense and complex and the reader can navigate it according to his state of mind and the circumstances of his life. The book led me forward during the many months working on the film when the real GRA seemed to elude me, more invisible than ever.
The GRA, this river of traffic in perpetual motion and the people that inhabit it, forms a reality that demands to be seen and considered. Its contradictions are stunning: a Franciscan friar standing in the emergency lane taking photographs of the sky; herds of sheep grazing just meters from cars rocketing by at 120 kilometers an hour... Worlds in motion that intersect while completely unaware of each other. During the day, the GRA is merely a system of transportation, but at night a world of intense complexity erupts that becomes penetrable only at dawn and dusk. The light of day, overloaded with information, restores a rigid unyielding reality. Then in the light of evening, the features of the GRA soften and the full dimensions of the characters become apparent.
Watching and Filming
The act of filming is painful for me. So is the gesture of merely taking out my camera. Before I do so, I have to have completed a prolonged process of getting close to the characters and their stories. This can take months. Only after this gradual approach can I know what distance to film the characters from, what angles will work, how to frame the shots. When I finally know that the time to shoot has come, there are no more doubts. In that moment, there is only me and the character, and the camera seems to vanish between my hands. Filming is not simply the process of bringing an action to life; it is the compression of a range of elements that have emerged over time. The question is not what style to use for a certain scene but rather the amount of time necessary to spend with a character before I find the proper distance and perspective on his or her story. What emerges then is far more complex than simply observing, or staging a scene.
Director and cinematographer
An original idea by
LA FEMME ENDORMIE
STEFANO GROSSO, GIUSEPPE D’AMATO, RICCARDO SPAGNOL
LA FEMME ENDORMIE
with the support of
GENERALE PER IL CINEMA
With the support of
LAZIO REGION, FILAS, ROMA LAZIO FILM COMMISSION, CNC – CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA
With the support of
LA PROCIREP, ANGOA, FIDLAB
With the participation of