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VENICE 2010 Venice Days / Italy

Heaven Without Earth captures sounds from the ether, images from nature


Venice Days title Heaven Without Earth is a true festival film, in a genre of its own. Perhaps best described as a creative documentary, in the film co-directors Giovanni Maderna and Sara Pozzoli blend footage of the former’s trip to the mountains with his eight-year-old son Eugenio and of workers fighting for their rights; as well as an audio interview of the trials and tribulations of progressive music producer Gianni Grandis.

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Maderna ¬– winner of the 1999 Lion of the Future Award at the Venice Film Festival, for Questo è il giardino – says the film’s structure came to him, in fact, while listening on his car radio to the interview, as well as to news stories about the workers. As soon as he heard about the latter, he immediately sought them out to capture their stories on video.

Often using overlapping sounds from the stories, and music that cuts off halfway, Pozzoli says that the very structure is like “parallel stories that you might switch between, like radio frequencies.”

The true star of the film is the extremely eloquent and inquisitive Eugenio, a boy who impatiently soaks up the world around him, asking profound questions about the very nature of art and creativity, be it his father’s or that of Antonia Pozzi, a poet who committed suicide at the age of 26 in 1938 (and was, coincidentally enough, the subject of a 2009 Venice Days film, Poetry You Look at Me). Of course, Eugenio’s also a kid, who patiently tries to explain to his father about his budding interest in the girls in his class.

Heaven Without Earth is the first collaboration between Maderna and Pozzoli, and will not be the last. Maderna is currently set to produce Pozzoli’s upcoming, still untitled project with his company Quarto Film, founded in 2007.

Heaven Without Earth was produced for under €50,000 by Quarto Film, in collaboration with RAI Tre - Fuori Orario and Vivo Film, the latter which handles domestic distribution.

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