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Visual artist will screen her Italian documentary "Peasant and the Priest"
Monday, October 28, 2013

Visual artist will screen her Italian documentary "Peasant and the Priest"

A screening of “The Peasant and the Priest,” a documentary about two Italian men in their 80s whose ways of life have survived from medieval Italy to the present, will be held Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 3 p.m. at Fenton Hall Room 105 at SUNY Fredonia. Filmmaker Esther Podemski will attend the screening and participate in a question-and-answer session. Light refreshments will follow. The screening, which is free and open to the public, is funded by the Fredonia College Foundation’s Carnahan-Jackson Humanities Fund.

Dr. Ralph Blasting, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, will offer remarks about the documentary that will be introduced by Dr. Alex Caviedes (Political Science) and Dr. Chiara De Santi (Modern Languages).

Narration of the 47-minute film is in English, while English subtitles are shown when Italians are interviewed.

In her film, New York City visual artist Esther Podemski shows how globalization manifests in two aspects of Italian life today through the passing of traditional farming in Italy and an increase in enforced prostitution. Sergio, a sharecropper, uses ancient farming methods that have become overshadowed by corporate agriculture, while Father Oreste fights the tide of sexual slavery of women from Africa and Europe who are forced into prostitution in Italy.

The point of departure for exploring the two parallel lives is a 14th century fresco, The Allegory of Good and Bad Government, by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.

One reviewer characterized the 2010 film as a protest against the price we pay for globalization that successfully captures the texture of a vanishing way of life with delicate precision.  “The Peasant and the Priest” was previously shown at the Newfilmmakers Festival at Anthology Film Archives in New York City.

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