Italia - Fire and Ashes
by Céline Gailleurd, Olivier Bohler
The Italian silent cinema is one of the most famous at all, but who knows its origins, its first decades, from 1896 to 1930? In a contemporary and lyrical way and through fragments that fulfill the European Archives, Decadenza lets this Atlantide come to light again. Among the history of cinema’s secret universes, one has been forgotten for many years: the Italian silent one. Whole generations have been influenced by its directors, actors and stories. But who really knows its first decades, from 1896 to 1930? That flourishing film-industry gave birth to peplum, let the first stars shine, and many film-makers created their own style thanks to the trends of that time in painting, literature, theatre and opera. In its world of splendor and decadence, this cinema gained international fame, enthralling crowds, intellectuals and artists from all over Europe and abroad.