Can cinema and excavation coexist in a documentary? It seems so. In fact, we can think of involving more and more spectators and «leading them to otherwise inaccessible places», as Professor Frasca said, by taking advantage of the synergy and the propulsive drive of festivals and exhibitions.
«Making a movie is a relatively new way to really explore the fascinating world of archaeology: archaeologists are now the protagonists of some docufilms and guide their spectators to places that would be inaccessible otherwise». These were the words of Professor Frasca about the importance of archaeological documentaries, a new means of communication that aims to raise collective awareness on the importance of archaeology. In a society where people are often familiar with historical monuments but have no idea of who brought them to light, cinema can be really helpful. Professor Frasca stated that «we should not forget either the discoveries or the discoverers. From this point of view archaeological documentaries are a step forward compared to television documentaries, in which the speaker is not an expert, but only a mediator. However, this does not mean that TV or video games have been useless: on the contrary, they brought the public closer to the world of archaeology and still are crucial». As a matter of fact, archaeological cinema alone is not enough, especially because in Sicily it is a little-known genre: «Although these movies may have a certain appeal, they still belong to an elite genre. This is why it is important to organize events involving local people and stimulating their curiosity about landscape around them» said Professor Frasca, with the approval of Alessandria Cilio. Therefore, the “Festival of documentary and archaeological communication” organized in Licodia Eubea (October 18-21) is dedicated to the results we can obtain when the study of the physical remains of ancient cultures or eras meets the big screen.
LICODIA EUBEA, JEWEL OF THE FESTIVAL. The “Festival of documentary and archaeological communication” has been organized by Alessandra Cilio for eight years in a little-known Sicilian village with a thousand-year history: Licodia Eubea. The setting of the Festival is a real jewel, as Alessandra Clio explained. «Licodia is not a village with five-star hotels and great restaurants, the real attraction here are its welcoming inhabitants and its familiar atmosphere. It would be wonderful to meet the local shepherds, to witness the production of typical food and to taste typical products» she said, with the hope these new projects will stimulate the curiosity of locals and tourists. The only possible risk is that such an archaeological event, however prestigious, could still attract too few people. Alessandra Clio is well aware of this and declared: «Bringing people to Licodia Eubea is a challenge: we have to be idealistic and cultivate our ideas in the place where we had them for the first time, because it would not make sense to export them somewhere else. Licodia has a millennial history and is interested in the archaeological field, so that it deserves to be re-evaluated».
SYNERGIES WITH PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT. «Festivals and exhibitions are a good way for us to communicate directly with interested people, to start new synergies with the environment and with the people we meet», proudly pointed out the organizer. In this regard, Professor Frasca highlighted how recent the meeting between cinema and archaeology is and invited young people to broaden their horizons: «Nowadays strict bureaucratic norms make young people think that, after they graduate, their work path is already (and forcibly) established, while they should be curious about new and different paths too, archaeological documentaries is one of them».
Translated into English by Eva Luna Mascolino