Letizia Battaglia, her last name not incidentally means “battle,” has been a one-woman army fighting that decline. Through her photographs of the Mafia and the destruction it caused in her home city of Palermo — courageous because each one could have meant her death by execution, if only for having captured the soul of the unworthy, or the wrong moment in time — Battaglia has shown the world what courage, resilience and being Italian really does mean, at its highest form.Read More
It’s a fact that there has never been such a movement of global general uprooting, in the history of our planet. Most of us feel deep inside ourselves a sense of dissatisfaction and the easiest way to deal with it seems to be to pick up and leave -- for work, love or life experience. But that can also turn into the most difficult decision of our life, because sometimes you cannot go home again.
As an old friend used to remind me, in moments when even traveling to the other end of the planet hadn’t really fulfilled its purpose, “Nina, the problem is that when you travel, no matter where you go, you’ll always take yourself along.” It’s so true, our inner struggles transfer well, hidden within the deep recesses of our beings. And even the furthest journey sees us as our sometimes unfortunate travel companion.
Miguel Angel Moulet’s haunting, sultry and perfectly shot film ‘Todos Somos Marineros’ (‘We Are All Sailors’) tackles that idea, but also mixes in several other themes, including the rhythm of language and how we change depending on the words we speak, as well as the filmmaker’s own unresolved childhood family mysteries.Read More
I’d read the reviews, both out of Cannes where the film premiered, and lately for its US release. A.O. Scott’s was my favorite for the NY Times, as it usually is. Then, I’d listened to friends — some admitted to breaking down after viewing the film, some pointed to the filmmaker’s problematic mishmosh of the Arab world with Iranian images.
But having missed ‘Le livre d’image’ (‘The Image Book’) at the Festival de Cannes, I had to view it for myself. And, it turns out, I did well to wait.Read More
How do you personally survive tragedy, when it hits close to home?
It’s a question that has played in my mind over and over in the last few months. Each of us has a distinct and very human way of dealing with personal tragedy, and none of it is wrong or right, I’ve figured out. It just is.
Filmmaker Anaïs Volpé says that her way of coping with terrorist attacks, which have hit very close to home, literally for the Parisian, is to turn blood into glitter and imagine that the victims have gone to a better place. We hear that time and time again, “they have gone to a better place now,” but in Volpé’s exquisite ‘Indemnes’ (which translates to “Unharmed”) that better place is filled with color, beauty, peace and harmony. It’s a beautiful view into the afterlife, complete with stylish golden jackets, from an artist who has had her own creative style from the get-go.Read More
The Italian city of Trieste has always had its own particular history. From its Austro-Hungarian and Slovenian influences, to its proximity to the Croatian border, its people have enjoyed a special status. At the end of the 19th Century, Trieste had more Slovenian inhabitants than Slovenia's capital of Ljubljana and at the start of the 20th, great luminaries and intellectuals like James Joyce, Italo Svevo, Sigmund Freud, Zofka Kveder, Dragotin Kette, Ivan Cankar, Scipio Slataper, and Umberto Saba frequented the bustling cosmopolitan city.
To me, it has always been a city with a foot deeply planted in its Italian roots yet the other striding towards its Eastern European culture. A bridge city overlooking a port, filled with people of different ethnicities and speaking several languages and dialects. A utopia for the perfect world, a place where everyone truly, and mostly could get along. And have gotten along.
We have so much to learn from the city of Trieste these days.Read More