Is Not a Poor Country
L'Italia non e un paese povero
/ Italy / B&W / 110 min / 35mm
Director: Joris Ivens
Script: Joris Ivens, Valentino Orsini, Paolo Taviani, Vittorio
Camera: Mario Dolci, Oberdan Troiani, Mario Volpi
Editors: Joris Ivens, Maria Rosada
Music: Gino Marinuzzi
Commentary: Alberto Moravia, Corrado Sofia; spoken by Enrico
Producer: Federico Valli
Production company: PROA
Commissioned by: ENI
Another Ivens film that tries to depict industrial progress. Ivens
was commissioned by Enrico Mattei, head of the Italian oil company
ENI to make a film showing the benefits to Italy of oil exploration.
The film was meant to present Mattei's vision to a television audience.
The film is in three parts. Part one, "Fire in the Po Valley,"
is about the recovery and distribution of methane in the Po Valley.
The second part is itself divided into two. The first half is devoted
to the cities of Venice and Ravenna and the production of gas. The
second half, "Story of Two Trees," shows the impoverished
life of seven peasant families all dependant for fuel on one olive
tree. Their lives are contrasted to the future benefits of the so-called
"Christmas trees": metal constructs with permanent flames
for controlling the gas outlets. The third and final part of the film
focuses on the marriage of a Sicilian girl to a Northern Italian man
working on an offshore oil rig. Ivens uses some then-innovative techniques
in the film, such as hand-held cameras, high-speed film, and television-style
interview techniques, the last with more than a little irony. The
film was radically shortened by its Italian television broadcaster,
RAI, because it showed too much poverty. When it was shown on Italian
TV, it appeared with the caption "fragments of a film by Joris
COPYRIGHT:Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee