Cinema Classroom is a free programme of films available for streaming dedicated to teachers and students of upper secondary schools of the outlaying districts of Florence and of the neighbouring municipalities of the Metropolitan Area.
It includes 9 artists’ films and documentaries on contemporary art selected from Lo schermo dell’arte’s archive which are offered as insights on current issues such as environment, public space and community, human rights and legality. Because of the topics covered, the project is suitable for all subjects of study and lends itself as teaching support for civic education as well as for artistic and historical-artistic disciplines.
The films will be available for streaming on demand for 6 days, from April 12 until April 17, on Più Compagnia, the virtual theatre of Cinema La Compagnia in Firenze. The programme is enriched by 3 lectures on topics concerning the content of the films given by experts, which will be streamed live on April 17, 19, and 21. During these moments, the students will be able to interact, asking questions and sharing thoughts.
April 12-17, streaming on demand on Più Compagnia
Ai Weiwei, Never Sorry
by Alison Klayman, USA, 2012, 91′
vo: English, Mandarin; sub: Italian
From 2008 to 2010, Alison Klayman, a journalist/director living in Beijing, followed and documented the artist’s life: the preparations for his major international exhibitions, intimate moments with his family, and his increasingly heated clashes with the Chinese government. The truth of a dissident’s life in the digital era, told from close-up; a man who, with great courage, has smashed the borders between art and politics. The Chinese government has silenced him in all ways: with beatings, shutting down his blog, locking him up in a secret location and demolishing his studio. Ai Weiwei never stopped fighting. Without apologies. The documentary offers a glimpse of contemporary China through the eyes of one of the superpower’s most convincing public figures.
Bending Space. Georges Rousse and the Durham Project
by Penelope Maunsell, Kenny Dalsheimer, USA, 2007, 56′
vo: English, French; sub: Italian
French artist George Rousse (Paris,1947) works in abandoned buildings that are due to be redeveloped or demolished; just “as a painter works with an empty, white canvas”, as he says himself. He creates ephemeral interventions that re-activate the memories and energies of these spaces. His work is created with an almost surgical precision, and finds a lasting form through his photographs. Invited to a residency in Durham, North Carolina, in 2006, Rousse worked in four of the city’s historical buildings. Among these was the Liggett & Myers Tobacco Factory, where Chesterfield cigarettes were produced until 1984. Over 200 volunteers helped him enthusiastically, and the whole city supported his work. The film follows Rousse in the different phases of this project and documents the complex and multi-layered process that lies beneath the creation of his poetical and visionary work.
Letizia Battaglia – Shooting the Mafia
by Kim Longinotto, Irland, Stati Uniti 2019, 94′
English director Kim Longinotto is known for films about women who fight oppression
and discrimination. Her latest feature is dedicated to Palermo photographer Letizia Battaglia. Born in 1935, Battaglia began her photojournalism career in 1969 with the defunct Palermo newspaper L’Ora. In 1974, she began to document the mafia murders which devastated the city. She recalls those events, and the scars that the violence left on her and her colleagues.Driven to fight the mafia’s power and raise public awareness, she was on the front line with reportage and exhibitions. She became engaged in politics, and held various positions in the Municipality of Palermo and in the Regione Sicilia. The film is an intimate portrait of a great artist and photojournalist, a determined and courageous woman who sacrificed personal relationships to fight evil in her country and in her beloved city of a thousand contradictions. Through her photos, mostly black and white, she shows misery and splendor, traditions, women and children, streets and neighborhoods, festivity and mourning, daily life and the faces of power.
Quello che verrà è solo una promessa
by Flatform, Italy, Netherlands, New Zeland, 2019, 24′
In the South Pacific, Funafuti in the Tuvalu archipelago has become the scene of an environmental catastrophe. Due to unnatural overheating, sea-water rises from the subsoil and floods the land, compromising all life on the island. The Italian collective Flatform has followed the story since 2010; they shot this short film entirely on-site. Droughts and floods alternate ceaselessly in a single long shot. The islanders are impotent spectators. Scholars speculate that Funafuti’s natives will be the first in the world to have to abandon their land entirely, since it is expected to be submerged within a few years.
The Foreigner’s Home
by Rian Brown and Geoff Pingree, USA/France, 2017, 56′
vo: English; sub: Italian
The exceptional 2015 interview between Haitian writer Edwidge Danticat and Toni Morrison, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Morrison recounts her experience as creator and curator of the exhibition The Foreigner’s Home, held at the Louvre in 2006. Through the use of archival material, a reinterpretation of the painting The Raft of the Medusa by Théodore Gericault, and close dialogues with artists and intellectuals involved in the project, the film is a reflection on the themes of identity, racism and the condition of being a stranger today.
Thomas Hirschhorn – Gramsci Monument
by Angelo Alfredo Lüdin, Switzerland, 2015, 94 ‘
vo: English, German; sub: Italian
Gramsci Monument, an homage to one of the 20th century’s most important philosophers, is the installation which Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn–who was present at this year’s Biennale di Venezia–produced in the summer of 2013 for the Dia Foundation at Forest Houses, in The Bronx, New York. The site-specific monument was conceived as a place made up of different ambient spaces: laboratories for art- and political workshops, a library, and play-areas for children. Famous for provocative works which confront social themes, Hirschhorn lived with the neighborhood’s residents for five months and dealt, not always peaceably, with their different realities and ethnicities. A shared human experience was his attempt to divulge the Italian philosopher’s thought, and to build a temporary monument destined to remain in the collective memory. Director Angelo Lüdin shot the various phases of the work, documenting the active collaboration of a poor and isolated community.
by Lucy Walker, UK, 2010, 98′
vo: English, Portuguese; sub: Italian
The documentary is an extraordinary portrait of Brazilian artist Vik Muniz, and the touching story of his experiences with the over 3000 catadores (scavengers of recyclable materials) at the world’s biggest garbage dump, the Jardin Gramacho, located among the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Muniz has dedicated his series Pictures of Garbage to them, after having involved them for over two years as protagonists and assistants in the production of portraits and revisitations of some of the most famous masterpieces of contemporary art. As with his sugar-children series, which focused on the faces of the children of Central American plantation laborers, the images chosen by the artist, and the materials taken from the dump which are used to re-draw them, are inextricably linked to tell the people’s stories. Originally from Sao Paulo in Brazil, where he spent his childhood and adolescence, Muniz shows through his work that art and beauty can cause change, redemption and genuineh uman enrichment. Awarded prizes at Sundance and in Berlin, where it also won the Amnesty International Award, Waste Land’s soundtrack is by Moby.
by Jennifer Baichwal, Edward Burtynsky, USA, 2013, 90′
vo: English; sub: Italian
After the success of Manufactured Landscapes (2006), prize-winning filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal and noted Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky join forces again to produce an astounding cinematographic project on the complex relationship between human beings and water. Part of the vast project Water, dedicated to the exploitation and management of this indispensible and irreplaceable resource, Watermark unites stories from around the world with exceptional aerial footage: a testimonial to the impact of man’s intervention on the landscape.
The construction site for the world’s largest dam, in China; the Colorado River delta, now an arid desert; the tanneries of Dhaka, where 21.000 cubic meters of toxic waste are produced daily; Kumbh Mela beach, where 30 million people gather to bathe in the holy waters of the Ganges…these are just a few of the atrociously beautiful images which make up this portrait. Winner of the TED Prize, 2005 for commitment to environmental causes, Burtynsky documents man’s impact on the planet with his images. Famous throughout the world, his photographs are in the collections of over 50 museum, including the Tate, London, and MoMA and the Guggenheim, New York.
Women are heroes
by JR, France, 2010, 88′
vo: French, Portuguese, English, Thai, Indian, sub: Italian
In 2007, French street artist JR, who arrived in Naples with his Inside Out project at the first Sky Arte festival in May, embarked on a trip to Africa, in order to highlight the dignity of women forced to live in extreme poverty among civil wars, violence and all kinds of everyday battles. Women Are Heroes, an artistic project that became a film, took him to Kenya, Brazil, India, and Cambodia over the course of four years. The protagonists are women who struggle boldly despite the incredible difficulties of their lives. JR portrays their faces on huge posters, which he puts up in the most diverse locations: the sides of the train wagons in Kenya, the barracks of Brazilian favelas, and buildings in cities like New York or Paris. Photographic evidence becomes a message of hope in changing the social contexts of extreme poverty and violence in which some women have to live. The original soundtrack is by two famous trip-hop names: Massive Attack and Patrice Bart Williams.
The artist realised the site-specific installation La Ferita on Palazzo Strozzi’s facade, where it will be visible until August 22, 2021.
Saturday, April 17, at 10.30am
Conversation with Stefania Crobe, researcher at the Architecture Department of the University of Palermo and founder of SITI Laboratorio di immaginazione urbana [e umana]. The conversation will address the theme “public spaces and community” starting from considerations on the films Bending Space. Georges Rousse and the Durham Project, Thomas Hirschhorn – Gramsci Monument, Women are Heroes.
Monday, April 19, at 3.00pm
Conversation with Justin Randolph Thompson, artist, educator, co-founder and director of Black History Month Florence. The conversation will address the theme “human rights and legality” starting from considerations on the films Ai Weiwei Never Sorry, Letizia Battaglia – Shooting The Mafia, The Foreigner’s Home.
Wednesday, April 21, at 3.00pm
Conversation with Sara Funaro, Councilor for Education and Welfare of the Municipality of Florence. Councilor for Education and Welfare of the Municipality of Florence. The conversation will address the theme “environment” starting from considerations on the films Quello che verrà è solo una promessa, Waste Land, Watermark.
In order to participate just log in on the platform Più Compagnia on the scheduled day and time.
Who can participate:
Every upper secondary school situated:
In the districts 2, 3, 4, 5 of the Municipality of Florence (Campo di Marte, Gavinana-Galluzzo, Isolotto-Legnaia, Rifredi)
In the districts of Bagno a Ripoli, Campi Bisenzio, Pontassieve, Sesto Fiorentino, Scandicci.
In order to confirm your participation to the project, send an email to Anna Ricciardi: email@example.com.
To the teachers who will adhere to the project will be sent an access code to the Più Compagnia virtual theatre.
The project is free of charge.