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VENEZIA 2003 Competition

The miracle of Winspeare


- An encounter in Venice with director Edoardo Winspeare whose latest film, Il Miracolo is a poetic and spiritual tale of the South

The miracle of Winspeare


Claudio D’Agostino is eleven. He’s a little scrap of a lad with these enormous dark and curious eyes. Claudio plays Tonio the “child healer” in Edoardo Winspeare’s Il miracolo [+see also:
film profile
, selected for competition at Venice 60. This is our meeting with the boy and his director.

“While we were making this film, Edoardo became my best friend,” confides bright little Claudio. “The only problem is that he was just too busy while I had time to lark around with the hairdressers and costume people. Every now and then I’d go over to Edoardo and tell him how I thought he should film a scene. It’s okay because he never got angry with me.”

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Mr Winspeare, after the visceral drama of Sangue Vivo and Pizzicata, your latest is the story of a child who believes himself empowered to perform miracles after getting out of a road accident. What’s the inspiration behind this film?
“This film is really and truly a spiritual and lay miracle. It’s the miracle of the greatness of love. If you are one of those people who sees beauty that others ignore, then that’s a miracle. My screenwriter, Giorgia Cecere, told me the story of this extraordinary little boy and I fell in love right away.”

The ending is both reassuring and comforting and the story is extremely moving.
“I wanted to make a film that would appeal to a wide-ranging audience but which remained arthouse.”

A boy from a middle-class family meets with two working class children, a boy and a rather “difficult” girl.
“My films give me a chance to study the way in which our contemporary society is structured. This is the first time I allowed myself to explore a middle-class setting that’s both Western and in crisis. Although it’s set in Taranto, this film could just as well have been made in Paris or Milan.”

The film is set in a Taranto bursting with colours, chiaroscuro, shadows and light. Why Taranto?
“Because it is Puglia’s most beautiful and most wounded city. Taranto is a blend of earth, fire, water and light. The fire is that of the ILVA steelworks’ chimneys – Europe’s largest complex. Taranto has been destroyed by haphazard industrialisation and it is symbolic of the search for a lost identity. Too many of us have broken off all contact with our heritage and our roots.”

Claudio D’Agostino is a natural. Tell us about the rest of the cast.
“Claudio is a deep thinker. We chose him at the last minute. All of the others are professional actors with roots in Puglia’s theatre world.”

Produced by Sidecar and RAI Cinema, Il Miracolo is scheduled for a domestic release today in Milan and Rome today, 30 August, by courtesy of 01 Distribution. A national release onto 40 screens will follow on 12 September.

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(Translated from Italian)

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