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Italiano/Italian Inglese – English
Zeta Produzioni – Rai 3
Ilaria Freccia Salvatore Sansone
Almost every day several busses crowded with pilgrims, leave Rome on their way to S. Giovanni Rotondo to visit the sanctuary of Padre Pio. The cost for two days, amounts all included, to 30 Euros a person. These trips are organised by agencies specialised in low-cost trips which include the sale of various products. Between historical references, tales on the life of Padre Pio, and jokes, Luciano and Silvio, the two “demonstrators”, entertain the clients, most of which are old ladies who live alone, widows, looking for a bit of company. Some of them are real “habitués” of these two-day trips, which represent one of the few amusements in otherwise monotonous and lonely lives. Although they are for the most part devoted to Padre Pio, some of them even miraculously healed by him, the old ladies don’t participate for religious reason only, but also to do some shopping and to be entertained. As a matter of fact the success of these pilgrimages is to combine the wish to visit a famous sanctuary with the pleasure of buying costly objects on “special sale”. Professional sets of 35 pots and pans, or armchairs with incorporated massage, embroidered satin quilts, household, appliances and gadgets of all kinds are purchased by the old ladies by annual instalments amounting to thousands of euros.
This trips reveal unusual and at times surrealistic aspetcts of an Italy wawering between the sacred and the profane, superstition and faith, tradition and consumism.
Nomination David di Donatello 2004
Genova Film Festival 2004
Primo Premio sezione documentari/ Premio della critica