FRIDAY, JUNE 25, 2021 6:09 PM


Last night in Piazza was presented one of the most anticipated films of the Competition of the 57th International Exhibition of New Cinema , or The Witches of the Orient , the new “sports” documentary with which Julien Faraut returns to Pesaro two years after the success of John McEnroe – The Empire of Perfection , with which he won both the professional and student jury awards.

As the director of the exhibition Pedro Armocida recalled on stage, that was the Italian launch of a film that would later garner numerous acclaim and distribution in theaters, and he therefore wished this new work, also in an Italian preview, to undertake same lucky path, having already secured destruction thanks to Wanted Cinema. Julien Faraut, in connection from France, first recalled the good times spent in Pesaro and its ice cream parlors: (“the French know how to do many things, but I miss your ice creams”), then introduces his “witches” with irony , questioning the audience and explaining how in this case it is neither an Anjelica Houston figure in Who’s Afraid of Witches?, nor of those that fly in the sky on a broom like in Kiki – Home delivery by Miyazaki. Her “witches of the East” are those of the Japanese women’s volleyball team and their incredible ride to conquer the Tokyo 64 Olympics, so nicknamed by their Soviet rivals.

A story made of suffering and sacrifice, in which a group of girls who would later form the core of the Japanese national team worked every day in a textile factory and then underwent grueling training for the company’s volleyball team until late at night, under the the watchful and severe eye of a coach with a militaristic manner. Faraut discovered this story ten years ago thanks to a volleyball coach and was able to deepen it over time by working in the film archive of the Institut National du SportFrench. The story struck him to such an extent that he came to develop the conviction of making this film not only to spread its story to an international audience, but above all as a “tribute” to the athletes themselves. Already entered the Japanese collective imagination, in fact, this mythical team has inspired a series of cartoons and comics that then successfully landed in Italy, first of all Mimì and the national volleyball team , of which Faraut takes up numerous sequences to superimpose them on those of the real matches of the national team. To these are mixed, with the precise eye of an archivist and historian, but also with great formal refinement, interviews with some of the survivors of that team and numerous period films.

Previously, the evening had been opened by an event dedicated to EMERGENCY , from this year the official charity partner of the Festival , with the screening of Captain Didier , the short film produced by LYNN, the all-female division of Greenland (Matteo Rovere). To present him on stage, in addition to Michela Greco of Emergency, there were also the director Margherita Ferri , the screenwriter Roberta Palmieri and the composer of the music Alicia Galli. The screenwriter was the first to be interviewed, from whom the entire project started as the winner of the second edition of the “A story for Emergency” competition. Palmieri told how he wanted to give voice to the invisibles of our society which are the figures of the riders , to help the public think that the history and life of many of the migrants arriving from the Mediterranean does not end only in their tragic journey and in the their landing in Europe. A story that required great sensitivity in the staging created by Margherita Ferri, currently working on the set of an Amazon Prime series, capable of returning great emotions, to which the music of Galli also contributes, who has freely re-arranged sounds. typical of Eritrea.

In the morning, on the other hand, there was the usual meeting with the directors of the Pesaro Nuovo Cinema Competition and the Festival had the pleasure of welcoming one of the three Italians competing, Luca Ferri , who presented his new work Mille Cipressi in Pesaro. , with which he continues his research on the image started with Abacucand continued with other works presented in Venice, Berlin and Locarno. The short follows a man visiting the Brion Tomb, in the monumental funeral complex built by the Italian architect Carlo Scarpa, in the cemetery of San Vito, in the province of Treviso. “It is not a film about architecture, but about the meaning of things, about why we are in the world”. The director’s tight formal research, which takes up a series of details of the tomb in 4: 3, starts a reflection on our way of knowing and seeing the world: “The lack of a total shot of Scarpa’s work serves to emphasize the impossibility of being able to grasp its entirety “. This choice marks the departure from a superficial vision, which must leave room for a deep penetration of what one looks at. “There is no new”, he explained in response to a question, “but only a conscious revival of the classic”; exactly as Scarpa himself declared, whose words were taken up by Ferri for the narrator of Assila Cherfi. 

The poet and director Lynne Sachs then participated in connection from New York to the second part of the meeting to talk about Film About a Father Who, her new feature film presented in competition. The film is an autobiographical documentary and tells the complex figure of the director’s father, Ira Sachs Sr., using heterogeneous materials collected over more than thirty years: “Every time my father and I have been together, over the thirty years old, I was filming. The result is hours and hours of shooting on 8mm and 16mm film, video and digital ». Over the course of his life, the man has had numerous women from whom nine children were born. Through this home movie, the director carries out the attempt to understand, analyze and deal with the elusive father figure and with that of the various brothers. The goal, as Sachs said, is to relate his memory to that of Ira’s other children in an attempt to grasp their father’s personality: “I wanted to make a film that would investigate the various ways that each of us uses to understand a person and show how you can play with them ». Finally, the director wanted to underline how the choice of using the generic “a father” in the title, as well as being a tribute to Yvonne Rainer’s Film About a Woman Who … their families to deal with that “mysterious figure that parents can sometimes represent for their children”.