‘Florence Archaeofilm:’ International Movies on Archaeology & Art

A scene from Sagrada Familia, the Gaudi Revolution

The 5th edition of the Archeological Film Festival comes to Florence’s La Compagnia Cinema March 1-5. Organized by the magazine Archeologia Viva, the five-day festival includes 80 documentary films, screened continuously beginning at 10 am as well as talks with filmmakers.

Participants can travel through cinema to discover great archeological sites, breathtaking scenery and landscapes around the globe. This year’s films come from the United Kingdom, Turkey, Jordan, Brazil, Iran, the United States among other countries, as well as many Made in Italy films. The festival’s spotlight is on Turkey, honoring its ancient and present archeological significance considering the recent devastating earthquakes.

The festival kicks off Wednesday March 1 at 10 am with the screening of French movie A La Recherche de la Musique de l’Antiquite (In Search of Music of Antiquity). The deciphering of an ancient musical score invites us to follow the work of scientists interested in sounds of the past. From Pompeii to Delphi to Egypt, the discoveries revive the melodies of antiquity (in French with English subtitles).

Wednesday at 12:10 pm the Turkish film Stone Hills explores the ancient site of Karahantepe, discovered in 1997 and comprised of 250 T-shaped obelisks from the Neolithic age (in Turkish with English subtitles).

Thursday at 10:15 am Petra, A Symbol of Multiculturism in the Middle East explores the famous Jordanian archeological site. Viewers learn of a dark side of restoration work which entices hundreds of children to drop out of school early to work illegally (screened in English).

Following the above film at 10:30 the 52-minute feature film Montaigne et le Tombeau Mysterieux (Montaigne and the Mysterious Tomb), features the extraordinary research in which archeologists and historians work side by side to unravel the secrets of a tomb. The tomb, possibly containing the remains of 16th century French philosopher Michel de Montaigne, was discovered in the heart of Bordeaux (in French with English subtitles).

Thursday at noon Gordion’s Shepherds, a film from Turkey depicts the ancient city of Gordion in Anatolia, with its history dating back to 1200 BC. For thousands of years its inhabitants have been shepherds. The film chronicles an unchanged routine in and around the ancient city of Gordion (in Turkish with English subtitles).

Friday at 10 am the Brazilian O Lugar Antesde Mim (The Place Before Me), part of a series exploring pre-colonial archeology in Brazil, looks at aspects of daily life of populations living among manmade mounds of shells measuring more than 30 meters high (in Portuguese with English subtitles).

On Saturday at 3 pm the 10-minute short from the US, Stories through Bone, set in the Big Horn Basin of Montana, showcases the fieldwork of the paleontologist during excavations (in English with Italian subtitles).

Saturday evening at 7:30 pm the film from the UK, King Tut’s Lost City Revealed, will be screened. A century ago, Howard Carter discovered the staggering treasures of Tutankhamun, the child king. Now, renowned archaeologist Zahi Hawass has discovered a lost golden city that holds the secrets of Tutankhamun’s last days and Egypt’s Golden Age (in Italian).

The festival finale film on Sunday at 4 pm Sagrada Familia, the Gaudi Revolution, explores the unfinished masterpiece of Antonio Gaudi, an immense, eclectic cathedral (in Italian).

At 6 pm awards will be presented to the most popular film as voted by the public, the University of Florence prize  to student filmmakers and the award to the best film on prehistoric archeology among others.  (rita kungel)

All events offer free admission and are at La Compagnia Cinema, via Cavour 50/R. For complete information, see the website: www.firenzearcheofilm.it