Somerville Theatre - Screen 2 Sat, Apr 29, 2017 3:30 PM
Film Info
Premiere Status:Boston Premiere
Web Site:https://www.spettacolofilm.com/
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Jeff Malmberg & Chris Shellen
Additional Info


In the mountains of Tuscany lies the village of Monticchiello. With a population of roughly 300 people, nearly all of whom were born and raised in its walls, the town is what a tourist might call "quaint." But once a year, the people of Monticchiello tap into their collective artistic agency to "tell their story" on stage, writing and producing their own original play that reinterprets their lives, memories, and troubles. Their works are often surreal and spectral, and sometimes controversial.

This annual ritual, which they have dubbed "autodrama," began as a way to cope with the trauma the village sustained during Mussolini's fascist regime in the 1940s. But more than half a century later, the tradition is at risk: those most dedicated to the theater are growing older, and the youth show little interest in sustaining it.

In his 2010 debut, MARWENCOL (IFFBoston 2010 Special Jury Prize winner), director Jeff Malmberg explored how an artist made peace with his past by creating. In SPETTACOLO (Italian for "show"), Malmberg and Codirector Chris Shellen show a community coming together to do the same. Following the villagers through a single production, from concept to opening night, the film sees the artists wrestle with their own mortality as they dwell on their play's theme: the end of the world.

—Brad Avery