Avezzano. Appointment tonight in the Mazzini area of Avezzano with the documentary “The flower in the mouth”, by Andrea Settembrini and Valeria Civardi. The screening that is part of the Cinema and Environment calendar is scheduled at 9.30 pm.
Original title IL FIORE IN MOUTH
International title THE FLOWER IN HIS MOUTH
Duration 52 ’00’ ‘
Country of production ITALY
Year of production 2021
Produced by DANIELE SEGRE and DANIELE DE CICCO for REDIBIS FILM
Co-produced by BROGA DOITE FILM
Written and directed by ANDREA SETTEMBRINI, VALERIA CIVARDI
With GUSTAVO D’AVERSA, WALTER PRETE, TOTÒ SERGI, NICK GRAY, MAGGIE GRAY,
SABRINA SERGI, VALENTINO PIZZOLANTE, VITO LISI, GIUSEPPE CALABRESE
Photography ANDREA SETTEMBRINI, VALERIA CIVARDI
Editing VALERIA CIVARDI
Organization ANDREA SETTEMBRINI, SARA INÉS HERNANDEZ
Sound engineer NICOLA GALLI
Editing and mixing of the EMILIANO GHERLANZ sound
Salento, for its enviable postcard beauty, is one of the regions of Southern Italy most frequented by tourists from all over the world. But among the roots of its olive trees, underground, it hides an invisible secret. There are 270 sites where for years Eighty rubbish of all kinds was buried in total indifference. Over time, the incidence rate tumor has become one of the highest in Italy, among the highest in Europe. “The flower in the mouth” is a choral story, studded with characters at times grotesque, observing a complex human landscape, knotted in indestructible contradictions.
On the one hand the will to denounce to free oneself from this evil, on the other hand the strength of a silence fueled by fear to lose the most conspicuous source of wealth: tourism. In a land that leaves no choice, what’s the right way to to survive?
The idea of ”The flower in the mouth” has very distant roots. The spark ignites in 2015, when walking on the asphalt of via Petrose, the way home, in my village of Gagliano del Capo (LE), for the first time I notice a singular given: in almost every home a person suffering from cancer hides, as if it were a sin or a shame. Me I wonder for days about what could be the causes of such a high incidence rate. Days turn into months, and the research is channeled into the archives of LILT and ARPA. The comparison with statistics, cold and impassive, is merciless, but where is the problem hidden in such a beautiful and uncontaminated place? Among the various hypotheses explored, the most accredited is unsuspected: the province of Lecce seems to have about 270 landfill sites that have never been reclaimed. Some are large quarries surveyed, others not, some simply holes in the ground that have swallowed up everything, once a source income, for those who had nothing or who wanted even more.
The need is to document the human complexity, and the internal contradiction of a Salento most of the time sold as an earthly paradise, but which hides in the subsoil an evil that has changed the life of those over the years lives. Thousands of lives wrapped in an unreal silence, dictated by the fear of isolation.
A documentary made up of people who walk the streets of their countries every day, who live there, where who is viewer can empathically recognize himself. Men and women who in their own way fight for change, which passes primarily from a collective interest. Protagonists who most of the time turn out to be defeated, even in the apparent victory, the leitmotif of a territory that does not question its own future.
During the course of studies, the territorial story meets the play “The man with a flower in his mouth” by Pirandello, which allegorically represents the theme to which you want to refer in the film. The single act, if from the textual point of view deals with the theme of the disease that slowly leads to death, from that metatextual also gives the way to represent the mise-en-scene that the territory experiences, in the passage from one season to another. While during the summer the problems are buried under a beautiful mask, when the winter looms re-emerge unresolved behind the greasepaint. The film slowly reveals itself, scene after scene in the deepening of the knowledge of the characters. We immediately understand that the story has its strength in the multiplicity of voices and not in a solo story, this is how we focus on a choral film, which follows a non-fiction system rather than a classic narrative structure.
The always fixed camera is a choice dictated by the stillness of a panorama that seems stuck in time and does not have no desire to change. The only change is the summer one, but it is a rhythm variation not a metamorphosis ontological, which distorts the intrinsic nature of the place. Hence the choice to work on the speed of editing without never renounce the fixity of the paintings, always geometrically and formally curated, as if to underline one composure at times irritating, which leads one to think of a fictitious construction. In the film, it’s not just the people who speak characters, but also places that are transformed by necessity, independently of our will. The narrative arc necessary to represent this reality is the one that goes from the end of a summer to the beginning of next one. The juncture of time necessary for a new great show to be set up.
As a documentary, the film lets itself be carried away by events and people, also capturing moments of everyday life, which always remind the viewer of the humanity of the chosen characters, who are not alone protagonists of a struggle, but also men with their daily difficulties. “The flower in the mouth” aims to invite the viewer to reflect on their future, on the sustainability of a territory, on the question “what’s the right way to survive?“. But, also, to show the hidden side of the medal and turn the spotlight on a part of Salento that is too often left to itself.
Valeria Civardi was born in Imperia in 1993, he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in New Art Technologies. Yup diploma in Direction, Screenplay and Production in 2018 at the Holden School of Turin. She realizes how director and editor of the short films “The other side”, “One meter closer” (premiered on Rai5) and “The triumph of grace “. With the documentary “Acetic syndrome” he is among the finalists of the Cesare Zavattini 19/20 Award.
Andrea Settembrini was born in Gagliano del Capo (LE) in 1991. He works as an author and filmmaker for music and advertising with the Broga’s collective. In 2018 he co-founded Broga Doite Film, with which he produces and directs documentaries and fictional shorts. She writes and co-directs the documentary “Even men are hungry”, winner of the Zavattini Prize and preview at IDFA 2019, subsequently selected in various national festivals and international (MakeDox, Minsk International Film Festival Listapad, MedFilm Festival, Festival del Cinema European Lecce).