Nexo Digital: Botticelli Inferno

106 Minutes • NR


Lark Theater Wed, Apr 25 6:15 PM
Lark Theater Sun, Apr 29 1:00 PM
Film Info
Event Type:Special Event
Not Eligible For Moviepass
Release Year:2017
Production Country:Italy
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A journey to the underworld through the 9 circles of Hell, to reveal the secrets of a work of art which intrigued so many people, including Dan Brown and Ron Howard. Shot around Europe in exclusive locations such as the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Vatican Library, London, Berlin and the Scottish lowlands.

Did you know how we get to paradise? Up the white staircase and straight into the light – assuming we’ve been good? Well, wouldn’t that be nice. Unfortunately it’s everything but simple or rewarding in the face of a life led with decency. The way to a possibly welldeserved, edenic life after death leads – through hell.

This at least is what the masses were told right up until the last days of the middle-ages – And for maybe not all that selfless reasons. Dante Alighieri, the great Italian poet and philosopher, with his „Commedia“, the Divine Comedy, has given hell a face that drew people’s fascinations and inspired them throughout his time. Including Sandro Botticelli – Master painter of the High Renaissance, friend to princes and priests, creator of beauty and grace. And just like that this film turns into a glimpse of Botticelli’s fascination with hell and his reasons for spending almost two decades of his life transferring it to canvas. The resulting artwork maintains its magical pull to this day. Why, of all things, would a man determined to portrait things of beauty, set his mind to painting hell?

Why, of all things in its enormous archives, does the Vatican value this hellish art so much, that it chose it as one of its first digitalized, publicly accessible collections? What is it that inspires a writer like Dan Brown to make hell and its depictions th heart of his bestseller novels? And what would Dante and Botticelli have us overcome to reach the illusive gates of paradise? Was Botticelli one of the world’s first and most celebrated comic artists?

Botticelli. Inferno steals viewers off into another world: a journey to the underworld through the nine levels of Hell. Just as described in Dante’s Inferno, only by travelling through Hell and Purgatory can we reach Paradise and emerge “to see the stars once more”.

Botticelli brought Dante’s descriptions to life in a total of 102 meticulous drawings. The centrepiece of these drawings is the “Map of Hell”: a kind of guide through hell with all its various levels. A fascinating, and at the same time cruel work on sinners and retribution, nightmares and punishment. But what does this mysterious drawing tell us today? What does it reveal about the mysterious, mystical side of Botticelli and what does it have to say to our own modern souls nowadays?

Writer and director Ralph Loop has created a film that proves to be a lavish journey to places often left unexplored, and  brings us much closer to Botticelli, both the man and the artist.  The film was shot at the Vatican in Rome, in Florence, London, Berlin and Scotland during the summer of 2016. Especially for the film, the “Map of Hell” was digitised with a high-powered scanner, bringing to light details that had previously been invisible to the naked eye.