The Festival dei Popoli In New York
The Festival dei Popoli’s first annual New York event was developed by two associations with similar cultural platforms: the venerable “Snug Harbor Cultural Center”, located in the Staten Island Botanical Garden, and the Fitzgerald Foundation of Florence, a new association founded on the longstanding friendship between the city of Florence and Anglo-Saxon culture. It is also made possible by the support of the Regione Toscana, the Mediateca Regionale Toscana Film Commission.
The three day event is part of an ongoing movement by the Festival dei Popoli to circulate its rich collection of archival footage abroad. Since 1959, the collection has grown into an unparalleled treasury of documentary films and the history of documentary filmmaking.
The Festival dei Popoli has specially put together a select program that highlights themes of cultural exchange intrinsic to the occasion. In part, the focus will be on New York as it has been depicted in the festival’s prizewinning films from the early years to today: from the preparation for a peace march in 1967, in David Loeb Weiss’ Profile of a Peace Parade, to the collection of Ellis Island testimonials in Recits d’Ellis Island (1978-1980) by Robert Bober and Georges Perec; to Ken Burns’ film about the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Other films take a look at places or events in Tuscany as perceived and interpreted by filmmakers of international acclaim, like Otar Iosseliani’s exploration of the secluded lives in Castelnuovo dell’Abate, in Un Petit Monastere en Toscane.; or John Appel’s The Last Victory, which documents the anticipation and hopes of members of the “Civetta Contrada” in the weeks leading up to the Palio of Siena. Another documentary to be shown in New York is Hugues Le Paige’s Il Fare Politica. Cronache della Toscana Rossa (Politicking: Stories of Red Tuscany), which follows the impassioned development, from 1982 to 2004, of a small faction within the Communist party in Tuscany