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Spettacolo (2017) and Teatro Povero di Monticchiello

Film Screening & Talk

Producer Christina Shellen

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October 11, 2018
7:00pm – 9:00pm
H100 – Heritage Centre

Award winning docu-drama follows the story of a Tuscan town that once a year puts on a play, re-enacting the events of the year prior that have impacted their village. This 50 year tradition confronts community issues and preserves their unique heritage while facing some tough questions.

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Once upon a time, a tiny town in Tuscany turned its life into a play…

“So poignant and is so intelligently told that it feels wrong, almost insulting, to call ‘Spettacolo’ charming, even if the movie is often delightful.”

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Luke Bresky

“Simultaneously hypnotic and unnerving, it asks some rather uncomfortable questions about the nature of art and the potential and limits of self-healing.”
— John Hartl, Seattle Times

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A U.S. Studies Conference

Political commentary may only be the most habitual context in which the merging of fringe and mainstream—a new prevalence of the “Alternative”—has been characterized as a defining, symptomatic feature of the cultural moment in the United States. Yale Historian Timothy Snyder has suggested, however, that “post-truth” anxieties triggered by widespread “scorn for everyday facts” and a proportionately prolific “construction of alternate realities” may not be as “new or postmodern” as we tend to imagine (On Tyranny, 2017). And while a diverse array of contemporary usages and connotations may have made tensions between alternative and mainstream more ubiquitous than ever before, the long and complex history of such tensions in American culture can hardly be denied. What alternatives? Alternatives to what? What mainstream “realities” do champions of the alternative dispute? Do disputed facts necessarily differentiate alternative and mainstream perspectives?

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