Il gesto delle mani

by Francesco Clerici

This documentary film follows the process of creating one of  Velasco Vitali's famous 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.

Over the centuries, many technological innovations have come about in art. Yet, even today, in order to create a sculpture in bronze, it is necessary to take the same steps taken in the Sixth century BC for the Riace bronzes. These steps are not taught in school, but are passed on in the ancient oral tradition and through apprenticeships from artisans. This documentary observes and feels the work of Fonderia Artistica Battaglia: a place where the past and present share the same gestures and where each gesture is a sculpture itself. The story of the process will follow the birth of a dog sculpture made by the Italian artist Velasco Vitali. The story of a dog from wax to glazed bronze will show, with the use of archive footage, the historical process of a bronze foundry yesterday and today.

Historic Italian sculptor Giacomo Manzù used to say that the sculpture is a hand gesture, a gesture of love.

Country: Italia
Year: 2015
Running time: 77'
Genre: documentary
Cinematography: Francesco Clerici
Editing: Francesco Clerici
Music: Claudio Gotti
With: Velasco Vitali, Lino De Ponti, Elia Alunni Tullini, Caled Saad, Luigi Contino, Nicolae Ciortan, Tommaso Rossi
Produced by: Velasco Vitali, Fonderia Artistica Battaglia, Francesco Clerici

Festival: Viennale; London Film Festival; Montréal RIDM ; Berlinale 2015, Forum (Berlino), Premio FIPRESCI della Critica Internazionale;
Vilnius Film Festival / Kino Pavasaris (Lituania);
33esimo Festival del Cinema Uruguayano Montevideo (Uruguay);
33esimo Bergamo Film Meeting;
11th Docville internationaal documentaire filmfestival, Leuven (Belgio);
30th Dok.fest International Documentary Film Festival Munich (Germania); Valletta Film Festival (Malta); T-Mobile New Horizons film festival, Breslavia (Polonia); Filmfestival del Garda; Euganea Film Festival, Padova; Bellaria Film Festival; Festival internazionale Cinema di Frontiera Marzamemi; Sarajevo Film Festival (Bosnia ed Erzegovina).

Press materials