Cecilia Mangini documentary at 78th Venice Film Festival

Moira Jean Sullivan

Cecilia Mangini has been filming and photographing nearly her entire life and was the first female documentary filmmaker in Italy. In the documentary presented at Venice. In The World in Shots she collaborates with Paola Pisanelli who provides some movement to her stills and puts together her life with old passports, photographs, programs and artefacts from her spacious apartment in Rome. In fact, it is a living archive, with Cecilia telling us the background, her thoughts instead of a voice over after her death. She is in Iran at an Italian Retrospective of Documentary Film l in 2018, and that year she is also at Créteil Films De Femmes in a public meeting with festival director Jackie Buet.

The filmmaker is in Vietnam, with photographs she intended to use for a film with her husband Lino Del Fra Lwhich Pisanelli animates with sound effects of gunfire. She is at art galleries looking at great works of art. There are clips from her films such as "To Arms We're Fascists" are coming, shots from a documentary she filmed that was written by Pasolini - "Ignoti alla città" on adolescent boys in Rome's suburbs and Stendalii on ancient female Sicilian funeral rites that she directed and was written together with Pasolini.

Cecilia is demonstrating with fist raised on the streets of Rome or at the Beauborg in Paris. She meets the phenomenal Agnès Varda in an unforgettable meeting of two great women in 2011 at the Cinema de Reale festival in Lecce Italy. Both were absolutely beautiful.

There is a collage of Mangini's work at the end reminding us of what an artist she was and how we will miss her images, the ones she continued to make at the age of 94. The film ends with the famous portrait of Italian workers taken in 1966 in Puglia, photoshopped where all are wearing pink masks for today's pandemic.

© 2021 - Moira Jean Sullivan - Air Date: 09/15/21
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