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Il mondo in una scuola

August 21, 2009

While doing research for my dissertation (one of the reason for the lack of posting), I bumped into a nice DVD called “Il mondo in una scuola”, The world in a school, produced by the local cinema d’essai cum cultural association in collaboration with a local professional high school.

“Il mondo in una scuola” has a refreshingly simple credit list: one person who directed it, one person who shot and edited it, one band who did the music tracks, one person who took photographs and twenty-six between main characters and extras. The project brought the camera into a school with a very high percentage of immigrants amongst its students, and recorded fourteen of them, from just as many countries, as they tell us their stories, their dreams, the expectations of Italy that they had, their happiness or their nostalgia.

I found it extremely powerful in its simplicity. I love listening to life stories of people who have come from far away, but I loved “Il mondo in una scuola” most of all for its candour, for its earnestness. Stories of racism or of eradication from one’s roots are told with the same modesty as the funny anecdotes about coming to terms with a new culture. “Il mondo in una scuola” shows very strongly that it does not take much to get to know the ‘Other’ living near us: all you need is a DVD and the willingness to listen.

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