PAGES OF NATURAL HISTORY
It is another Tuscany, a wilder and darker one, whose history is less glorious than Florence or Sienna. The Italian Renaissance only left one scar on the mountainside: huge marble quarries, as white stains across the forest. Margherita Malerba has gone up and down the north of Tuscany as a geographer, alone or together with her only companion, and the most basic of equipment: a DV camera and a sound recorder. The editing follows the chronology of her regular trips back
for a year, on the same locations, and intertwines the time dimensions. Firstly, it is the time of nature, throughout the seasons, of light and colour variations on the vast mountain landscapes. The second dimension is collected inside a series of abandoned houses: the time of a past dwelling, whose traces cinema comes to record. The geographer becomes the rag woman of a story experienced as a catastrophy. Faces in black and white, ripped newspaper pages, the voice of a child reciting a poem or of an adult repeating his German lesson, everything the viewer sees and hears in the film originates from the remains found in the houses. A ray of light illuminates old damaged pictures on the ground, the whole sound of time slips out of old piled soundtracks: ghosts appear between image and sound. The utter beauty of the shots, the velvety DV pictures are somehow plunged into mourning due to the memory of a huge violence perpetrated in the region. Whereas the survivors celebrate spring around a bonfire, Pagine di storia naturale lays its lament at the foot of memorials. (C.N.)
Original version : italian. Subtitles : english. Script : Margherita Malerba, Andrea Bonazzi. Image : Margherita Malerba. Editing : Margherita Malerba, Devin Horan. Sound : Margherita Malerba.
Production : Margherita Malerba.
Distribution : Margherita Malerba.
Filmography : Heliopolis, 2016
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