Sottotraccia – Gruppo Informale
Italy, 2008, 98’ Italian with English subtitles
In 1968 an earthquake completely destroyed Gibellina, a small country town in Sicily. After 12 years in cramped shantytowns, a new town is assigned to the population: a dormitory village 20km from old Gibellina, built according to the canons of a type of Utopian urban planning that is totally unrelated to the local social reality. The mayor Corrao, who will hold the post for 25 years, realises the town needs to be rebuild in its identity and decides to appeal to the biggest names in contemporary European art and architecture to assist in this project. But the city-museum becomes a foreign body the local population are unable to accept. Earthquake 68 is the story of a community and its twin soul, of Utopian reconstruction and building speculation, the account of a collective identity that is severely tested first by nature, then by the state. It’s a very complex and controversial business, as extraordinary as it is universally paradigmatic. On the background of a coloured campaign for local elections, the film tells all this through another little big story, that of the challenge laid down to the people of Gibellina, an adventure to undertake to try to collectively rebuild their unsolved identity. There is no shortage of problems, scepticism and distrust: will the villagers respond to the summons or are there still too many open wounds?