The Creation of Meaning/La creazione di significato
Director/Screenwriter/Producer/Editor/Director of Photography: Simone Rapisarda Casanova
95 minutes, Canada/Italy, 2014
U.S. Premiere (World Premiere, director’s cut)
Thu 03/19/2015 9:00 PM
Walter Reade Theater, NYC
Cast: Pacifico Pieruccioni, Alexander Auf der Heyde, Benjamin Auf der Heyde, Siria Battelli, Bartolomeo Puccetti, Cinzia Bertuccelli, Maria Paola Casanova, Gruppo UIEI Pietrasanta, Coro Versilia, Andrea Taccetti, Francesco Marchetti, Diego Bonuccelli, Marco Bonuccelli, Marco Bondielli, Roberto Walter Colombini, Daniele Eschini, Alessandro Elmi, Massimiliano Pisano, Nellina Pieruccioni
“Though its title arcs toward grand philosophical inquiry, the stirring power of Simone Rapisarda Casanova’s second documentary-fiction hybrid—winner of the 2014 Locarno Film Festival’s Best Emerging Director prize—lies in its intimacy of detail and wry political observation…” [more at ND/NF] [IMDb] [film website]
“Only when the past, present and future meet can the all-too human device we presumptuously call ‘meaning’ be created.” -Simone Rapisarda Casanova
The Creation of Meaning opens in alpine meadow, with a group of schoolchildren reciting events from the final months of World War II, when retreating German forces massacred hundreds of civilians in the Tuscan mountains. Also receiving this catechism, the audience learns that the film is set precisely on the Gothic Line, where blood shed seven decades ago is a living memory and a topic of daily conversation.
The film follows the formerly self-sufficient, now precarious, life of Pacifico Pieruccioni, born seven years after VE Day, tending his hens and goats through our current catastrophe. The same breathtaking mountains that once held Nazi fortifications now provide an efficient means of suicide for villagers facing absolute ruin in the wake of the global economic crisis.
As the fates would have it, Pieruccioni’s own survival depends on the sale of his property to a German land speculator who might deign to allow him to stay on as a caretaker.
Ethnographic documentary, political commentary, and dramatic narrative in equal parts, The Creation of Meaning is essential viewing for anyone who seeks to understand the devastating impact of financial crimes against humanity committed in our generation.
ND/NF selected another important film in this category (Line of Credit/Kreditis limiti), which I’ll discuss in another post.