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Il Buco
Institute of Contemporary Arts
February 2023
Il Buco (The Hole), dir. Michelangelo Frammartino, Italy / Germany / France 2021, 93 min., Italian with English subtitles, U


Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Venice International Film Festival, the first feature in 10 years from Michelangelo Frammartino (Le Quattro Volte) goes where no filmmaker has gone before – 700 metres below the Earth’s surface into one of the world’s deepest caves.

Italy, the early 1960s. Having conquered the notable caves of northern Italy, a group of young speleologists from Piedmont journey south to Calabria to seek new challenges. They end up, eventually, at the bottom of the Bifurto Abyss, then thought to be the third deepest cave on the planet. Their journey goes unnoticed by nearby villagers – but not by the old shepherd of the Pollino plateau, whose solitary life begins to interweave with the group’s journey. An uncategorisable fusion of truth and fiction, Il Buco (The Hole) is a profoundly poetic meditation on life on Earth – and beneath it.
 
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