by Patricia Boillat, Elena Gugliuzza
Country: Italy, Switzerland
Year: 2009
Duration: 16'

On January 14, 1968, the earthquake in Valle Bellice razed various
villages to the ground, forcing the inhabitants of the local communities
to leave their homes. Over forty years later, things are still the same:
the ruins of old Gibellina, of new Gibellina and of Poggioreale form
a ghostly landscape that is suspended in time, in which only the sound
of the wind disrupts the silence. The theater, which was destroyed and
vandalized just after the earthquake, has become the symbol of this
abandonment, while the rehearsals of the last concert, that never took
place, echo in the background in memory of the theater’s original

“Pictures recorded more than five years ago, were the subject of a lot
of creative speculations, of confrontations – it’s a choral work – of
discouragements (sometimes) and of enthusiasms (often). In the last
months, a tabula rasa was favourable to find again the feelings felt
during the shooting, and to tune our imaginaries... The continuation
of a subjective path started with C.A.L.L.E., second chapter of a future
trilogy, Absence tells about non-places suspended and maybe destined
to oblivion…”


film director

Patricia Boillat

(Bern, Switzerland), dual French and Swiss citizenship, lives and works in Locarno, Switzerland. A multidisciplinary artist, she expresses herself through film, animation, photography, graphic art, architecture, and design. In 1986, she co-founded Zone 33 in Bern, a post-production space dedicated to images and sound; in 1996, she created La Boite Visual Art, a transmedia atelier.


L’étoile de Néant (1974), Le Pont (cm, 1980), Instant (doc, 1983), Amé (doc, 1991), Energy Show (cm, 2000), Nando, andata e ritorno (coregia Elena Gugliuzza, doc, 2002), C.A.L.L.E. (coregia Elena Gugliuzza, cm, 2004), Trojan Horse (anim, cm, 2006), Coup d’état (cm, 2007), BlackBox3 the Film (coregia Elena Gugliuzza, doc, cm, 2008), Absence (cm, 2009), Isola, là dove si parla la lingua di Bacco (coregia Elena Gugliuzza, doc, 2011), Scacciapensieri (cm, 2014), Srisaraya - Un balsamo per lo spirito (coregia Elena Gugliuzza, cm, 2020).  

Elena Gugliuzza

(Palermo, Italy), dual Italian and Swiss citizenship, lives and works in Locarno, Switzerland. She received her degree in directing and film editing from the International Academy of Audiovisual Sciences in Lugano; in 1996, she began to work for the Milanese post-production company Anteprima, where she ran the editing unit until 2001. She has extensive experience in editing documentaries, fiction movies, animation, video installations, video clips, and commercials. In 1997, she began her collaboration with the transmedia atelier La Boite Visual Art.


Sfondo blu (cm, 1996), Nando, andata e ritorno (coregia Patricia Boillat, doc, 2002), C.A.L.L.E. (coregia Patricia Boillat, cm, 2004), Due Tempi (doc, cm, 2004), Trojan Horse (anim., cm, 2006), Coup d’état (cm, 2007), BlackBox3 the Film (coregia Patricia Boillat, doc, cm, 2008), Isola, là dove si parla la lingua di Bacco (coregia Patricia Boillat, doc, 2011), Scacciapensieri (coregia Patricia Boillat, cm, 2011).


& Credits

regia, sceneggiatura,
suono, produttori/
directors, screenplay,
sound, producers
Patricia Boillat,
Elena Gugliuzza
Patricia Boillat
montaggio/film editing
Elena Gugliuzza
Nino Rota,
Peer Raben
La Boite Visual Art