Αγώνας
A century of cinema and archaeology
ITALY, 1998, 30'
  by AGON - Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The film which was made for the programme Storia of RAI3, traces the history of our century’s “archaeological adventure” through cinematic documents of the most important discoveries. Starting from the original shots of the discovery of Tutankhamon’s tomb taken by Howard Carter (1922) and his descendants in the field of fiction (The Mummy by K.Freund, 1932), we explore the filmed documents on the archaeology of the 20’s. Archaeology acquires a great momentum during the 30’s in Italy, as a tool of Fascist propaganda to further the aims of imperialism (documents on Herculanum, Pompei, on the retrieval of Roman ships from Lake Nemi, on the imposing digs in the North-African colonies –in Tripoli: Leptis Magna, Sabratha etc.–) while in the cinema the regime of Scipio the African is celebrated by Carmine Gallone (1936). Starting with the 30’s and 40’s in America, they film expeditions searching for pre-colombian civilisations, while in the cinema the film in “archaeological” costume affirms itself and enjoys great popularity up to the 60’s. From the most sensational discovery of those years –the Dead Sea “Scrolls”– through the Etruscans’ ephemeral cinematic success of the 70’s, we reach the “poetry” of Fellini’s subterranean Rome (1972). In 1981, the Bronzes of Riace fire the public’s imagination and, in that same year, we witness the “archaeological” adventure’s establishment with Spielberg’s Indiana Jones, who looks like blazing new trails for current research: fiction has outdistanced the researchers.


Director: MASSIMO BECATTINI
Producer: FILM DOCUMENTARI D'ARTE
AWARD FOR CONCEPTUAL ORIGINALITY (AGON 2000)