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The mystery of Mount of Ants at Locarno Festival

Monte delle Formiche

District: Emilia Romagna
Province: Bologna (BO)
Date: 2017-08-11

The mystery of Mount of Ants at Locarno Festival

Monte delle FormicheOn August 9, in the world premiere, the film The Mount of Ants by Riccardo Palladino was screened at the Locarno Festival.

The place

Monte delle FormicheThe Mountain of the Ants is part of the Middle Apennines of Bologna. It occupies the territory of the municipalities of Pianoro and Monterenzio and rises among the valleys of the Idice stream and the Zena stream.

Its particular name is related to a phenomenon that occurs annually: around September 8, swarms of winged ants reach the summit, join in a wonderful flight followed by the deaths of all males, who fall exhausted on the churchyard of Church on the top of the mountain and die here. The event has very ancient testimonies: in the fifteenth century the church was named Santa Maria Formicarum.

Curious, tourists and faithful every year come here to admire and celebrate the feast dedicated to the Virgin of Mount of the Ants. On September 8, it is tradition that insects are blessed and donated to the faithful (the popular belief wants they cure some illnesses).

The film

Monte delle FormicheThis singular event is the starting point of the young Umbrian director Riccardo Palladino's film competing in the section of Cineasts of the present at the Locarno Festival.

Riccardo Palladino studied at DAMS in Bologna. He has photographed the film Daniele Segre's "Dresses of Life" (2004). As a director, his first documentary film Brasimone (2014) was selected in competition and received awards at numerous festivals.

Riccardo Palladino in the film first recounts the event that he himself, "more skeptical than curious", had witnessed in the summer of 2014 and that between 2015 and 2016, using the film in 16 mm and super8, he wanted resume.

He then recounts all the preparations of the folk feast that is celebrated in the eight days following the invasion of the ants using the face and voice of Franca Maurizzi, devoted to Madonna del Monte.

But above all, it captures the singularity of the event to question the nature of small insects and human beings.

Great writers such as the Nobel Prize Maurice Maeterlinck and the entomologist Carlo Emery have studied them. Their words, echoing in the voices of witnesses to the film, highlight a particular trait of these insects. "The ability of insects to preserve the ants' nest first, to give priority to the community as compared to the individual. Something, the director says, that we have lost and that the Mount of Ants shows us. A great lesson by nature "

Monte delle FormicheInfo

Cast: Violette Maillard, Silvana Strocchi

Screenplay adapted by Riccardo Palladino. Photography: Eugenio Barzaghi. Music: Benedetta Gelati, Dave Seidel, Miguel Negrao. Sound: Marco Neri, Alessandro Quaglio, Paolo Segat, Marco Falloni. Editing: Riccardo Palladino, Carlotta Cristiani. Producer: Riccardo Palladino, Lara Brucci, Luca Ricciardi. Production: CamerAmano. Coproduction: Minollo Film, Rai Cinema.


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