Sicily. Granitola, 1955. At the first light of dawn, the fishermen set out in their boats for open water, timing the rhythm of their oars to murmured chants. They set their nets in the sea, regulate the cords, organize the boats in a square. The men’s work becomes increasingly harder as the tuna are hoisted onto the boats, wriggling, beating their tails until death arrives and the water is tinged with blood.
Vittorio De Seta (Palermo, 1923) debuted as a director with Pasqua in Sicilia, which he co-directed with Vito Pandolfi, and between 1954 and 1955 he shot six documentaries in Sicily. Of these, Isola di fuoco won first prize for best documentary at the Festival of Cannes in 1955 and Contadini del mare won at Mannheim in 1956. He directed his first feature film in 1961, Banditi a Orgosolo. He switched to television in the 1970s, the start of a collaboration with RAI that resulted in the series Diario di un maestro (1973). He has recently made the documentary Dedicato ad Antonino Uccello (2002) and has finished shooting the feature film Lettere dal Sahara.
(Updated to the last partecipation to TFF)
Lu tempu di li pisci spata (cm, doc., 1954), Isole di fuoco (cm, doc., 1954), Surfarara (cm, doc., 1955), Parabola d'oro (cm, doc., 1955), Pasqua in Sicilia (cm, doc., 1956), Contadini del mare (cm, doc., 1956), Pescherecci (cm, doc., 1958), Pastori a Orgosolo (cm, doc., 1958), Un giorno in Barbagia (cm, doc., 1958), I dimenticati (cm, doc., 1959), Banditi a Orgosolo (1960), Un uomo a metà (1966), L'invitata (1969), Diario di un maestro (TV, 1973), Un anno a Pietralata (TV, 1974), In Calabria (1993), Dedicato ad Antonino Uccello (2002), Lettere dal Sahara (2005).