Michelangelo Frammartino returns with his long-awaited first feature in a decade, following the unforgettable Le Quattro Volte. Another work of nearly wordless natural beauty that touches on the mystical, Il Buco offers a simple premise rich with visual and symbolic possibilities. Based on the true adventures of a group of young speleologists who in 1961 descended into a hole in the mountains of southern Italy’s Calabria region to explore what was then the third-deepest known cave on Earth, Frammartino’s film interweaves astonishingly captured images of this expedition with the solitary life of an elderly Calabrian shepherd who lives not far from the spelunking site. With the gentlest of strokes, Il Buco examines the unknown depths and mysteries of the universe, life and death, progress and tradition, and parallels two great voyages to the interior.

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