• A Day in Barbagia
  • Islands of Fire
  • Orgosolo’s Shepherds

Vittorio De Seta’s Short Films

Digital Restorations

After completing his film My Voyage to Italy, Martin Scorsese was given an unexpected gift of several documentaries by De Seta. Each was about ten minutes long and in color, and most were shot in stunning CinemaScope. Scorsese had heard of De Seta “the way one hears of a legendary place: someone must have seen it at some point but no one remembered who, or when, or where.” The short films had concise but poetic titles like Islands of FireEaster in Sicily, and Peasants of the Sea, and they depicted with gravity traditional culture as it still persisted along the rocky barrens and roiled shores of postwar Sicily. De Seta’s artful works distinguished themselves from contemporary ethnography by privileging the voice of his much-admired subjects, letting their words and labors tell their stories. He focused on the details of long-standing craft, the sanctity of communal rites, and the fragile but revered place of man in nature. Scorsese recalled, “I was sharing his curiosity and his amazement and I was sadly realizing, as he must have, that the vitality of an unspoiled culture was being filmed for the very last time.”

Restored by the Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation. 

Films in this Screening

Islands of Fire
(Isole di fuoco)

Vittorio De Seta, Italy, 1955

FILM DETAILS 
Language
  • Italian
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 11 mins
source
  • Cineteca di Bologna

The Age of Swordfish
(Lu tempu di li pisci spata)

Vittorio De Seta, Italy, 1954

FILM DETAILS 
Language
  • Italian
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 11 mins
source
  • Cineteca di Bologna

Sulphur Mines
(Surfarara)

Vittorio De Seta, Italy, 1955

FILM DETAILS 
Language
  • Italian
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 10 mins
source
  • Cineteca di Bologna

Easter in Sicily
(Pasqua in Sicilia)

Vittorio De Seta, Italian, 1955

FILM DETAILS 
Language
  • Italian
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 10 mins
source
  • Cineteca di Bologna

Sea Countrymen
(Contadini del mare)

Vittorio De Seta, Italy, 1955

FILM DETAILS 
Language
  • Italian
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 10 mins
source
  • Cineteca di Bologna

Golden Parable
(Parabola d’oro)

Vittorio De Seta, Italy, 1955

FILM DETAILS 
Language
  • Italian
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 10 mins
source
  • Cineteca di Bologna

Orgosolo’s Shepherds
(Pastori di Orgosolo)

Vittorio De Seta, Italy, 1958

FILM DETAILS 
Language
  • Italian
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 12 mins
source
  • Cineteca di Bologna

Fishing Boats
(Pescherecci)

Vittorio De Seta, Italy, 1958

FILM DETAILS 
Language
  • Italian
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 10 mins
source
  • Cineteca di Bologna

A Day in Barbagia
(Un giorno in Barbagia)

Vittorio De Seta, Italy, 1958

FILM DETAILS 
Language
  • Italian
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 11 mins
source
  • Cineteca di Bologna

The Forgotten
(I Dimenticati)

Vittorio De Seta, Italy, 1959

FILM DETAILS 
Language
  • Italian
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 21 mins
source
  • Cineteca di Bologna