Latrodectus – “that bites secretly”


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

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some extracts (few minutes) of the documentary

La Taranta
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

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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.

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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
DVD all zones (zone 0)

expedition costs
France (metropolitan) = 2,92 € (green mail)
European Union & Switzerland = 5,50 € (international prioritary mail)
rest of the world = 6,50 € (international prioritary mail)

(online and secured payment system)

french or international bank transfer
Thank you for sending us an e-mail (

The DVD is sent few days after the order, in a protective envelope.
It might happen exceptionaly that in some period, the production could not treat the order so quickly, but only after one or two weeks. In that case, thanks for being patient.

Il est rappelé que l’achat d’un de ces DVD n’en autorise que “la représentation privée et gratuite effectuée exclusivement dans un cercle de famille”, à l’exclusion donc du prêt ou de la diffusion dans un contexte public.
Pour tout achat de DVD à des fins de prêt (médiathèque..), nous vous remercions de contacter le distributeur Rambalh Film.
Pour toute projection publique, merci de nous contacter par email (nous nous adaptons au contexte).

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Portes Ouvertes
Vitry-sur-Seine (94, France)
may 2017

Mois du film documentaire
Médiathèque de Montauban MéMo
Montauban (France)
november 2016

Evening “Voyage en Italie”
Centre des Rives
Vaillant (France)
july 2015

Memorial Maestro Stifani
Association Luigi Stifani
Santa Maria al Bagno (Italy)
august 2012

Festival Suoni dal Mediterraneo
Il Giardino dei Suoni
Andria (Italy)
october 2011

Memorial Maestro Stifani
Association Luigi Stifani
Nardò (Italy)
august 2011

Film presentation evening
Enna (Italy)
july 2011

International Anthropological Film Festival
with the Anthropological Section
of Perugia University
Perugia (Italy)
november 2010

Wednesdays of the Ethnographical Film
Cycle « The other and the sacred »
Comité du Film Ethnographique
Musée de l’Homme “hors les murs”
Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration
Palais de la Porte Dorée
Auditorium de la CNHi
Paris (France)
july 2010

Memorial Maestro Stifani
Association Luigi Stifani
Nardò (Italy)
july 2010

Festival Petits Chahuts Itinérants
Grand Chahut Collectif
Cinema Le Pestel
Die (France)
april 2010

Film presentation evening
cultural squat of the Pavillons Sauvages
Toulouse (France)
november 2009

Festival Peoples and Musics in Cinema
Film Library of Toulouse
Toulouse (France)
october 2009

Film presentation evening
Social Cooperative Canto Libre
Naples (Italy)
june 2009

Film presentation evening
Book shop Eva Luna
Naples (Italy)
june 2009

International Universitary Colloquium
« The Georges Lapassade inheritance »

University Paris 8, UFR 8
Laboratory EXPERICE, Les Irraiductibles
University Paris 8
Saint Denis (France)
june 2009

Festival International Cine-Video-Psy
Lorquin (France)
june 2009

Festival Suoni dal Mediterraneo
Il Giardino dei Suoni
Ducal Palace square
Andria (Italy)
august 2008
work-in-progress editing
with live music by Ruggiero Inchingolo

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