Cannes: Italian film (directed by Gianikian & Lucchi) presents elegy


ANSA English Media Service
May 22, 2004

(ANSA) – CANNES, May 22 – Italian film Oh, Uomo (Oh, Mankind), is
the last to arrive at the Cannes film festival but is expected to
make a vivid impression on film aficionados.

Oh, Uomo’s first copy left the film laboratory just three days ago. The
film was covered with great mystery and was completed in a time frame
recalling the medieval craftsmanship.

Oh, Uomo is directed by two of Italian cinema’s most peculiar and
isolated directors, Yervant Gianikian, who is of Armenian origin,
and Angela Ricci Lucchi. In their Milan house-laboratory the two
have been gathering, manipulating and transforming archive films,
old newsreels and amateur filmings for many years creating each time
an impact of emotions and stories similar to experimental cinema but
characterised with the warmth and originality of authentic poetry.

This time the two directors have used as a basis some rare films
from World War I collected by the museum of Trento, northern
Italy. The museum of Trento along with local Trento authorities, the
municipality of Rovereto and the province of Trento are among the Oh,
Uomo producers.

Oh, Uomo leaves apart the famous historical events in order to focus
on the everyday drama of the many infantrymen who found their death in
the mountains in northern Italy as well as on the memories of ordinary
people, whose names have been long forgotten. The film’s directors
have been driven exactly by this sense of the brevity of memory and
the vivid topicality of the signs of war, which unfortunately remains
the same atrocious massacre as it has always been.

Oh, Uomo has won the favour of Olivier Pere, artistic director of the
Cannes film festival Directors’ Fortnight section, but it is not clear
how it will be distributed in Italy. Italy’s public service TV RAI
has never shown interest in the previous works of Gianikian and Ricci
Lucchi. Thanks to the participation of Oh, Uomo in the Cannes festival,
however, numerous countries have shown interest in the film. (ANSA).