Andrea de Fusco / 2017, Rome Independent Film Festival, Bellaria Film Festival, DocUnder30 / 65'
Present-day Venice. Far from the swarms of tourists and cruise ships an alternate topography is made plain— one lived at the edges of the ancient city's lagoons, beneath the surface of its canals. A shipwright, a Venetian rowing champion, a diver, a fish merchant and a fisherman chronicle their daily lives as proximate and dependent on water, the founding element of the Venetian Republic a thousand years prior. These contemporary Venetians uphold the vanishing traditions of a people, a place, and an amphibious way of life.
Immersed in the aqueous landscape of one of the world's most cinematic cities, In Aquis Fundata documents local Venetians and their precarious futures. Andrea de Fusco's second full-length film premiered at the Rome Independent Film Festival, Bellaria and DocUnder30.
In an exclusive interview with Filmatique, de Fusco discusses capturing the real face of Venice, the city's relation to water, immersion through sound design and his next project.
Being raised in Venice, I lived in a wavering sensation of being one day in a great world capital, the other in a remote provincial town. I spent my adolescence amongst small boats, abandoned islands and deserted nights until I moved to Paris. Only then did I realize that the real Venice— the one beyond the façade, beyond the shop window— was completely unknown to the rest of the world. Every time I returned to the lagoon I observed a rapid and drastic degradation of the urban context: the decline of a unique city that sold herself off, lost her meaning and sunk, literally and metaphorically.
For this reason, I decided to tell the story of the other Venice. This Venice is made of people who posses essential trades for the maintenance of the city and its memories, that belongs to the inhabitants living on and off the water. A city generated by an amphibious population that rose from water and from the same water drew its wealth.
From construction to navigation, to secrets bound to the currents and tides, a universe of knowledge opens up, becoming extinct as the soul of the land that created them. The characters of the documentary, the last standing Venetians, appear in unusual and unrecognizable lagoon settings, in areas of the city far away from tourist invasions. The Venice I chose to represent is not the postcard Venice. Instead, it is the Venice of decline, of corrosion, of sinking and deserted nights. It is in this Venice that still hides the city's lost soul.
"Told with a strong aesthetic sense, enclosed in its existential identity (of the city, of its people), no less devoid of social and political resonances (Venice as a virtual city in the hands of foreigners, in the passage of large ships…), the film is a sorrowful look of a world between nights of redemption and high waters, where the boat is home and salt water in everyone's blood"