La Creazione di significato (The Creation of Meaning). 2014. Canada/Italy. Directed by Simone Rapisarda Casanova. In Italian; English subtitles. 95 min.
Though its title arcs toward grand philosophical inquiry, the stirring power of Simone Rapisarda Casanova’s second documentary-fiction hybrid—winner of the 2014 Locarno Film Festival’s Best Emerging Director prize—lies in its intimacy of detail and wry political observation. Filmed with a painterly Renaissance beauty in Tuscany’s remote Apennine mountains, where memories of Nazi massacres and partisan resistance remain vivid, The Creation of Meaning centers on Pacifico Pieruccioni, an aging but defiant shepherd whose very livelihood and traditions are threatened by a New European reality of Berlusconi-caliber corruption (hilariously evoked in a profanity-laden radio talk-show rant) and German land speculation. HDCAM. U.S. premiere