If the will to tell with images can do everything: “An infinite place”, the Certosa of Florence. Season after season

FLORENCE – “The great silence”, in a time of noisily sonorous cinema, which fills and overflows everything, with its two and 40 hours of silence had described and “brought” us into the life of the Carthusian friars in the Grande Chartreuse in the French Alps, while offering a cinematic experience very different from what today’s fast-paced and anxious audiences are used to. “An infinite place”, a documentary film by Media Solutions e Giovanna M. Carliwritten together with Alessio Venturini for the direction of Luigi M. of Elba, instead allows, in just under an hour, everything that encompasses the Certosa complex, on the top of Monte Acuto, also called “Monte Santo”, a conical hill located near Galluzzo, south of Florence. In what is meant to be the story of a “dream of immortality of men who defied time and space”. The Certosa was in fact designed to house 12 very strictly cloistered father monks – up to 18 following an expansion of the main cloister – and some lay brothers, as can be seen from the number of cells present throughout the structure. The cloistered monks had a rather large cell, since here they had to spend almost all of their life, in meditation, prayer and study, under the rule of silence. And the day after tomorrow, Saturday 17 December, it will be possible to really admire this infinite place, thanks to the national premiere of the docufilm soon to be released on Italian and European platforms. With a fil rouge inextricably linking it to “The Great Silence”, to what if the monks are no longer here for some time.

In fact, after more than 30 years in the television broadcast service sector, Media Soluzioni wanted to try to produce an entirely documentary and, as they explain, the Certosa di Firenze “was an attractive subject to try their hand at. A place that is always present in the city, abandoned for years but never forgotten. The idea of ​​an old collaborator/friend of ours, Giovanna M. Carli meant that the right synergies were created to be able to start giving substance to a co-production. Thus began a long phase of historical research, which involved the State Archives of Florence, the Superintendency and various scientific consultants from the Italian art world”. Filming began in the winter of 2018 and lasted until Christmas 2021: three years. Why three years? First of all for a choice linked to the direction, which wanted to tell the changing of the place with the passing of the seasons. Second, the lack of any budget which “forced us to shoot in the “snippets” of time, i.e. when we professional crews weren’t engaged in other “paid” productions, as we all provided our work free of charge ”. Third, the Covid-19. “Despite everything, we never gave up and, even though they had excluded us (by 1.5 points) from the funding calls for two Film Commissions, even though we hadn’t found the time to look for sponsors, even though one of the producers had been hospitalized for a month with the whole family precisely because of the Covid, we managed to complete our production. A documentary that is the result of great sacrifices, but also of great will and love for storytelling through images. Despite adversity, we have never forgotten the subject of our story, an infinite place that made us discover and bring out the best in each of us, as it did with the great characters who have passed through here in 700 years of history” .

A deafening silence is the first sensation one gets upon entering the Certosa di Firenze. The place shows, through the testimonies of a life of simplicity and peace, the balance between body and spirit. Built almost 700 years ago, then enlarged and enriched, it survived the bombings of the wars and with the overbuilding of the 70s it was almost incorporated into the city of Florence. Pontormo and Bronzino stayed here during the plague, Napoleon and various Popes, heads of state and intellectuals. Refuge and place of choice for artists, intellectuals and politicians. Le Corbusier will be inspired for the structure of the Unitè d’habitation by observing the cells of the monks. The art gallery, the churches, the frescoes by Pontormo, the cloisters and the well attributed to Michelangelo, give the Certosa a charm and a sense of peace, in one of the symbolic places of art and spirituality in Tuscany.

If the will to tell with images can do everything: “An infinite place”, the Certosa of Florence. Season after season – Piana News