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Sunday, November 6, 2016

A Visual Tribute to Mark My Last Day in Italy's Magnificent Region of Basilicata

Approaching Rionero in Vulture
Today is my final day of a beautiful cinema-themed stay in Italy's stunning region of Basilicata. During the last two weeks, I've seen numerous films shot in the region from Francesco Rosi's 1969 Cristo si e' fermato a Eboli to the contemporary films made by Italy's new generation of brilliant directors like Gianni Saponara, Adelaide De Fino and Silvio Giordano

Talking cinema made in Basilicata with Lucano journalist Michelangelo Russo
I've also had the pleasure to speak with people from all walks of life here.. from moviegoers to politicians to festival organizers about the relevance of the region's young filmmakers and how the region has changed since the fanatical revelations and images of Rosi's important but dated three-hour epic.

Matera where countless films have been made 
To mark my last day in Basilicata this time around, I'd like to reflect on the regions's natural beauty and the pride of its young people. The new artists and filmmakers are changing those antiquated ideas of Basilicata being a desolate, abandoned land. And I can validate that message. As an American traveling through the region over the last two weeks, I did not face one transportation or hotel challenge. The people of the region are among the most polite and hospitable people I have ever met. From the small village of Bella to Muro Lucano to Matera to my final destination of Frances Ford Coppola's gorgeous Bernalda resort, I experienced the pure beauty and tastes of the region's precious natural resources and I was on the receiving end of the great generosity and infinite thoughtfulness of its people. 

Frances Ford Coppola's Bernalda resort Piazza Margherita
A few months ago, I interviewed Isabella Tortoriello, a talented singer and Daniele Chiariello an ingenious director about an innovative video they made, which pays homage to the region of Basilicata. Inno alla Basilicata is another example of the region's talented young artists celebrating its eternal beauty, pure, clean air, majestic landscapes and crystalline waters. 
Isabella Tortoriello in a scene from her video Inno alla Basilicata
The song is a blend of traditional and pop music with lyrics that speak of the resilience of a land that has been seized, pillaged, forgotten and even ridiculed. Isabella Tortoriello told me that to achieve this unique sound, she and the musicians "fused the sounds of Lucane tradition with pop-rock."

Watch the video....

Check back here for more articles and interviews from my 2016 cinema tour of Basilicata. 

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