76 min – 2009
A scientific and sensitive research towards the Pizzica, music of south of Italy.
Once a possession dance, it was curing the “tarantated people”, those bitten by the Lycosa Tarantula.
Today, the Pizzica is become the mediatized protagonist of summer festivals of the Pouilles region.
In the shadow of suffering or festival fevers, a bite lying in wait.
direction – Jérémie Basset
cowritting – Irene Gurrado
music – Ruggiero Inchingolo
production – les films du lierre
distribution – Rambalh Films
press article (in french) – magazine Article 11
some extracts (few minutes) of the documentary
by Gianfranco Mingozzi
and the interviews of
Georges Lapassade – psychosociologist
Giovanna Stifani – maestro Stifani’s daughter
Ruggiero Inchingolo – Stifani’s student, violonist, ethnomusicologist
Roberto Pepe – arachnologist
Gino Di Mitri – phd in medical history of tarentism
Rita Santoro Mastantuono – Salento’s inhabitant
In the south of Italy, Tarentism was a set of diseases, for which a spider’s bite was considered responsible : the one of tarantula. In Salento, the “tarantated” people, cure themselves until the 50’s with a possession dance called “Pizzica” (bite), ritualized with codified movements, colors and scenography.
This documentary film weaves some links between the records of the daughter of the most emblematic musicians-healers (the maestro Stifani, shown in old documentary while he’s practicing a musical ritual) and the interventions of experts about different aspects of the phenomenon, like the bites of the impressive tarantula and the discreet black widow (whose latin name is « Latrodectus »), the ecstatic music of the tambourine and the violin, cultural meanings of Tarantism, and the possession and dissociation dynamics of the individual.
In margin an inner path is begun towards the silence, towards other identities hidden in oneself, towards some “presence to the world” and ways to face “presence crisis” that human being is confronted during life.
From the 90’s, in the same region, “modernized“ Pizzica came back for many summer concerts with more and more people full of curiosity. Far away from ancient tarantism suffering, a traditionnal and festive savor is blooming there, with this fever who seize sometimes dancers and musicians till the dawn.
The common work of a french director, went away to discover a reality of the pizzica on the spot, and of an italian anthropologist, native from the surroundings of the Salento, committed in an ethnopsychiatrical practice in Paris.
The money got through the DVD selling allows to repay the cost of their edition.
DVD price = 12 €
soundtrack : italian & french
subtitles : french, italian, english
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