The first light of dawn. The sound of a boat and the screech of birds fill the wide expanse of sea. Black rocks emerge from the water, the “sciara” – the volcanic scoria – of Stromboli, the underwater sulfurous emanations, the layers of reddish rock eroded by the sea. The roar of the volcano can be heard, the flames and the liquid lava are thrown skyward. As nature unleashes itself, the fishermen row toward the shore, the sheep stray and the women return home.
Came from an aristocratic family. After studying architecture in Rome for some time, he began his film career in 1953, working as a second assistant director to Mario Chiari for an episode of the film Loves of half a century. In 1954 he became assistant director to Jean The Paul-Chanois in Wonderful Time. Later he worked as a screenwriter and documentary filmmaker.
He started realizing documentaries in the 1950’s. They were set mainly in Sicily and Sardinia, using powerful expressiveness to describe the ways of living of the proletariat Southern and the harsh living conditions of Sicilian fishermen and miners that worked sulfur mines. Among these films, the documentary Island of Fire, set in the Aeolian Islands, was named best documentary at the Cannes Festival in 1955.
In 1961 he made his debut with the film Bandits Orgosolo, written with his wife Vera Gherarducci, a film stylistically dry and enriched by neo-realism. The film won the Best First Feature Award at the Venice… read more