Com.: Diego Fabbri; Mu.: Roman Vlad; Voice: Gino Cervi; Prod.: Universalia
Isole nella laguna does not develop around a story, but it is also not a tourist documentary; it is a collection of the most beautiful views attached one to another. It translates in images what Emmer discovered about the feelings and emotions of the islands. Flat, uniform water touching the gray opaque sky in which the horizon disappears is deceptive. Fishermen’s boats float across it, and the lagoon seems to be bottomless, unfathomably deep. Then suddenly a young man appears walking calmly on the same water, dragging a boat without oars: two dark smudges on the gray water and sky. And on this joining of surfaces two abandoned cemeteries appear, two little islands where a woman slips on pearls while a goat eats whatever grass remains on the flooded land. The old churches and basilicas are reflected in the water surrounding them; inside the convents nuns teach girls how to embroider until the sun sets. In the evening a fisherman rows around to reunite with his family scattered across the islands of the lagoon, and, accompanied by a seagull in flight, returns home rowing slowly. We sense that Emmer has only expressed a small part of what he would have liked to have said about Venice. He stopped for the moment needed to create the effect desired, the most intense emotion: the cinematographic economy compresses and concentrates the filmmaker’s wealth of romance.
Lauro Venturi, “Schermi”, n. 4, 1948