Run time: 93 mins
Michaelangelo Frammartino’s understated, non-dialogic style grounds a fascinating mediation of the passage of time in rural Italy.
Inspired by the 1961 potholing expedition of the Piedmont Speleological group which identified the third deepest cave system in the world, Il Buco studies its labyrinthine passages in intricate and intimate detail.
Without dialogue, it communicates an intense introspection upon the nature of time – its effect and significance for both nature and its human populations. Its marker of the present is a peasant farmer and his flock of goats who roam the land above the caves, the past an old magazine found that eulogises President Kennedy. The film is as much of a time capsule as the caves themselves are, its symbolic purpose equally as fluid.
Through its ninety-minute passage, it guides its audiences towards an aspiration for a simpler life – one in which the patterns of the weather and self-intuition dictate day-to-day living. It’s this kind of existential consideration that Frammartino does best: though it may be wordless, it is inherently meaningful.