Italy Is Not a Poor Country
L'Italia non e un paese povero

1960 / Italy / B&W / 110 min / 35mm

Director: Joris Ivens
Script: Joris Ivens, Valentino Orsini, Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani
Camera: Mario Dolci, Oberdan Troiani, Mario Volpi
Editors: Joris Ivens, Maria Rosada
Music: Gino Marinuzzi
Commentary: Alberto Moravia, Corrado Sofia; spoken by Enrico M. Salerno
Producer: Federico Valli
Production company: PROA
Commissioned by: ENI

Another Ivens film that tries to depict industrial progress. Ivens was commissioned by Enrico Mattei, head of the Italian oil company ENI to make a film showing the benefits to Italy of oil exploration. The film was meant to present Mattei's vision to a television audience. The film is in three parts. Part one, "Fire in the Po Valley," is about the recovery and distribution of methane in the Po Valley. The second part is itself divided into two. The first half is devoted to the cities of Venice and Ravenna and the production of gas. The second half, "Story of Two Trees," shows the impoverished life of seven peasant families all dependant for fuel on one olive tree. Their lives are contrasted to the future benefits of the so-called "Christmas trees": metal constructs with permanent flames for controlling the gas outlets. The third and final part of the film focuses on the marriage of a Sicilian girl to a Northern Italian man working on an offshore oil rig. Ivens uses some then-innovative techniques in the film, such as hand-held cameras, high-speed film, and television-style interview techniques, the last with more than a little irony. The film was radically shortened by its Italian television broadcaster, RAI, because it showed too much poverty. When it was shown on Italian TV, it appeared with the caption "fragments of a film by Joris Ivens."



COPYRIGHT:Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee