Ten Documentary Shorts by Vittorio De Seta
The extraordinary documentary shorts made by Italian director Vittorio De Seta in the fifties stand alone from the films of his contemporaries for the rigor of their observational eye. Shot in locations around Sicily, Sardinia, and Calabria, these vivid, colorful, narration-free nonfiction works alight on the daily labors and traditional customs of rural workers and their families, bringing out their rituals with such focused determination that they become almost dreamlike. Watching these films together creates a mesmeric immersion into a time, place, and cinema itself. Titles include Lu tempu di li pisci spata (1954), Isole di fuoco (1954), Pasqua in Sicilia (1955), Surfarara (1955), Contadini del mare (1955), Parabola d’oro (1955), Un giorno in Barbagia (1958), Pescherecci (1958), Pastori di orgosolo (1958), and I dimenticati (1959). Restored by the Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation.