Testi e voci: Mariangela Gualtieri. Ricerche d’archivio: Giovannella Rendi. Mus.: Mauro Montalbetti. Prod.: Istituto Luce – Cinecittà · DCP. Bn e Col.
9×10 novanta is a film in nine episodes with nine different Italian directors made in celebration of Istituto Luce’s 90th anniversary. Each film is ten minutes long and uses images from Archivio Luce.
Lines of hooded men climb up with difficulty a snow-covered slope, hauling heavy equipment with thick ropes. They are surrounded by a snow storm that overlaps with the blizzard of scratches and the grain of film from a hundred years ago. Child-soldiers old before their time rise silently from the trenches after being questioned: their gaze scrutinizes us, weighed down by a pending question. In a country court the community dances in celebration of young couple’s oath that bears the promise of the future…
To investigate the concept of ‘border’ I used images of the Great War with a focus on real borders and trenches in an effort to push perspective beyond earthly borders to a more internal terrain. I paired the footage – which portrays only what happens at the borders of the battlefield – with the poetic writing of Mariangela Gualtieri, which vibrates with clear intensity, enhanced also by the poetess’ reading of her own verses. A deep, spare female voice accompanies the epic feats of soldiers pursuing a crazy endeavor like building a border on the snowy peak of a mountain. Seen from the perspective of our times and through the eyes of the poetess, who talks of simple yet important things, man’s undertaking and the destruction that is the result of it appears dramatically futile.