As part of Cork Film Festival 2015

Screening: 20:00pm & 22.00pm

Tickets €15.00 Discount rate €10.00

77 Minutes


This documentary film follows the process of creating one of Velasco Vitali’s amous dog sculptures, from wax to glazed bronze, at Fonderia Artistica Battaglia(Battaglia Artistic Foundry), in Milan. The film observes the work of a group of skilled artisans in this 100-year old foundry and reveals the ancient traditions of bronze sculpture making, unchanged since the Sixth century B.C.


Il Gesto delle Maniwants to be both scientific and (or rather: especially) narrative: it describes the life and work within the Fonderia Artistica Battaglia, a historic place in Milan and currently under the management of the FAI – Italian Artistic Foundation-, which looks after historic and artistic sites. This film describes the noise and the passing time of a working day in the foundry. The artisans who work there are depicted only through their work, their faces and their movements.


During the shoot we didn’t want to disrupt the artisan’s work, so initially I was alone filming. I spent days in Fonderia Battaglia as a foundry employee and I confess I wondered if I should stop shooting and apply for a job, as I was completely hypnotized by their rhythm of their gestures whilst working.


Stefano Crespi, Italian critic of art history, speaking of the workers of the Fonderia Battaglia said: “Unforgettable workers, inside their own rite, in austere silence of the word”. The film attempts to present images and sound in this austere silence and those rites in an environment out of time. For this reason I did not use extra-diegetical soundtrack and favor the fixed camera (with few movements functional to the rhythm). I tried to use the focus sometimes in an apparently “wrong” way and to make few “dirty” shots, alternating them with very precise and “clean” shots. I also decided to cut out some moments from the “didactically prediable” chronological order.

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