IDENTITY: An inside view of togetherness
Dieter Wieczorek
Wieczorek is a film critic and regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
Published date: May 18, 2020


Idroscalo is a small, 500-populated family-oriented place on the Italian Mediterranean coast, beside Ostia, and close to Rome. Most of the houses were constructed up to 60 years ago; fragile, often-improvised buildings, homes for people with larger needs. It’s an exposed place, threats by water floating not only from the ocean but also from the Tiber River. Water puddles, trash, but also fragments of destroyed houses, fill the unstable and not-asphalted grounds. But this is only one threat. An administrative intervention caused the 2010 destruction of a large number of the inhabitant’s homes at the seaside, thereby becoming objects for market and real estate speculations. Interestingly, a new yacht harbour has been built close by. This action was carried out under the protection of 500 cops and carabineers in full battle gear, a nightmare still lingering in the memory of the town. The remaining families have never received legitimized housing status. Idroscalo is the last self-built neighbourhood in Rome. They call their place Punta Sacra (Sacred Point).

A sharing community

This unconformable place is the meeting point for the main winner in Nyon´s 2020 online edition of Visions du Réel. Francesca Mazzoleni took time to build up a very intimate relationship with some of the families. The result is a touching portrait of a community, which stays together in the spirit of resistance and humanity, as an example of togetherness, something rarely found these days in capitals or even smaller villages, marked by differences and disparate group spirits, if not simply isolation. Preparing parties is evidently the most visible activity of this sharing community. Decors, costumes, technical equipment; to arrange all this isn’t an easy task in a place where even a pharmacy, a medical or any other administrative office is missing. On the other side, a local radio station has been constructed, shared by people of all ages.

The remaining families have never received legitimized housing status.

Inside the houses we see family members sharing often small spaces, sleeping on thin mattresses, sometimes five people or more in a room. The older ones remember the times …


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