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Casa Italiana Hosts First U.S. Screenings of Two Award-Winning Italian Films, March 28-29

  • Published: March 01, 2012


  • First-ever U.S. screenings of two award-winning Italian films
  • Wednesday, March 28 & Thursday, March 29 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Room A-14 of the Nazareth College Arts Center
  • Directors Di Gregorio and Sacchetti will hold open discussions after each screening

Emiliano Sacchetti (DiGregorio pictured at left)

For More Information

Nazareth College Casa Italiana, (585) 389-2468

Casa Italiana Hosts First U.S. Screenings of Two Award-Winning Italian Films, March 28-29

From a group of elderly Italians who save their small village’s elementary school from closing to a German history professor who brings justice to thousands of unfairly treated Italian WWII laborers, the stories told in the award-winning films Per chi suona la campanella (For Whom the School Bell Tolls) and 8744 are  anything but ordinary. Nazareth College’s Casa Italiana and the Foreign Languages Department are proud to host the first-ever U.S. screenings of these Italian films, which will be accompanied by open discussions with both films’ directors, Alessandro Di Gregorio and Emiliano Sacchetti. 8744 will be shown on Wednesday, March 28 at 6:30 p.m. and Per chi suona la campanella on Thursday, March 29 at 6:30 p.m., both in Room A-14 of the Nazareth College Arts Center, located at 4245 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618. The documentaries will be shown in Italian with English subtitles, provided by former Nazareth College Italian student, Chris Bowen. The screenings are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Casa Italiana at  (585) 389-2468.

Per chi suona la campanella (For Whom the School Bell Tolls) tells the extraordinary story of a group of elderly Italians in the small village in the mountains of the Pollino National Park in Calabria, Italy. When the village’s elementary school faces closure due to low enrollment, a number of older residents, many of whom are illiterate, decide to enroll to save the school. This interesting example of civil disobedience reflects the strength and outspokenness of the older Italian generation, who wish to use their free time productively and share their life experiences with schoolchildren, as well.

8744 tells another extraordinary story of a German history professor named Dr. Bernhard Lehmann, who discovers a diary written by an Italian military internee (IMI) from World War II. The IMIs were used for slave labor by Germany during the war, but were not entitled to the compensation other German POWs received after the war ended. Upon reading the diary, the professor and his students compile a list of IMIs. After collecting 75,000 Euros from several beneficiaries, Lehmann travels to six Italian cities, including Trieste, Como, Reggio Emilia, Rome, and Caserta, in 2004 to meet with former IMIs and give them each 750 Euros as symbolic compensation, apologizing for what his country had done to them.

Per chi suona la campanella (For Whom the School Bell Tolls) is one of Di Gregorio’s and Sacchetti’s most celebrated documentaries, winning awards at both the Circeo and Corto & Fieno Film Festivals in Italy. The documentary, filmed in 2009, was also broadcast on Italy’s RAI 3, one of the country’s most prominent public television channels. 8744, also directed by Di Gregorio and Sacchetti, has won numerous awards at the Festival del Documentario d’Abruzzo and has also been broadcast on the History Channel in Italy. Both of the film’s screenplays were also co-authored by Sacchetti, who since 2000, has worked in the radio and television industry as a screenplay writer, as well as a director.

Founded in 1924, Nazareth College is located on a close-knit, suburban campus in the dynamic, metropolitan region of Rochester, N.Y. The College offers challenging academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences and professional programs in health and human services, education, and management. Nazareth's strong cultures of service and community prepare students to be successful professionals and engaged citizens. The College enrolls approximately 2,000 undergraduate students and 1,000 graduate students.

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