The Isle of Medea
Year:  2017
Running Time:  85 minutes
Country:  Italy
Language:  Italian with English subtitles
Genre:  Documentary
Venue:  Playhouse Theater [40 Main Street, Tiburon]
Cast:  Maria Callas, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Piero Tosi, Gabriella Pescucci, Ninetto Davoli, Nadia Stancioff, Dacia Maraini, Giuseppe Gentile - Voices: Daniele Fior (Pier Paolo Pasolini), Sara Alzetta (Maria Callas)
Showtime:   Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 03:45 PM
Director:  Sergio Naitza

  The most controversial and provocative writer of his age and the most acclaimed soprano in the world: Pier Paolo Pasolini and Maria Callas. The film that made them meet was Medea, shot in 1969. Nearly 50 years later, the story of an impossible love is unveiled through the memories and anecdotes of the crew and their most beloved friends.

The documentary The Isle of Medea explores the special relationship, born in the summer of 1969 during the filming of Medea, between its director Pier Paolo Pasolini and its protagonist Maria Callas. It was not a classic love story, as the press described it, attracted by the media potential of the couple: a controversial, provocative genius, and a famous opera singer who had just broken her love story off with the Greek tycoon Onassis. It was instead an encounter between two sensitive souls, the birth of a beautiful and engaging artistic relationship, a profound and special friendship.

The tale of this elective affinity takes shape through the memories and anecdotes of the crew and of the couple’s dearest friends; each one of them illuminates - sometimes with previously unrevealed details – the connection between Pier Paolo and Maria, especially during the filming on the island of Grado and its lagoon: a place where Pasolini found his Friulian roots and where he loved to retire to write and think, often asking Callas to join him. A few fragments of the letters and poems that the director and the soprano exchanged, read off-screen and illustrated by drawings, mark the chapters as the documentary goes on, exploring the details of a gentle and sincere relationship.

2017 marked the 40th anniversary of Maria Callas’ death (September 16, 1977). Among the many celebrations devoted to her, this documentary investigates a particular moment of the Diva’s life: “Medea” was her first and only role as an actress. For her, the film was a liberation from the humiliation suffered from Onassis and a chance to challenge herself, because her career as an opera singer was reaching its sunset, while Pasolini, a cultured and sensitive man, gave her new strength and a renewed artistic enthusiasm.

U.S. Premiere

Screening with: Sara Bellissimo

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