On April 2nd, 1787, Wolfgang von Goethe arrived in Palermo during a journey that lasted forty days, which he then described in Italian Journey. Peter Stein, a stage and opera director, retraces the footsteps of the German poet, in the company of a film crew. In Sicily, Goethe sought and found classicism, and so does Stein, as he travels to the origins of European culture. After his impressive production of Faust, the high point of Stein's reflections on Goethe, this new journey helps the director compare late-18th-century Sicily to today's, showing unexpected differences and surprising similarities.
(Berlin, Germany, 1937) is a famous stage director with strong ties to the avant-garde. In 1970, he founded the collective Schaubühne am Halleschen Ufer in West Berlin, which he ran until 1985 and with which he staged classical and modern plays that challenged languages and common sense (Torquato Tasso by Goethe, The Mother by Brecht, Peer Gynt by Ibsen, Summerfolk by Gorky, Oresteia by Aeschylus). From 1992 to 1997, he directed the prose section of the Salzburg Festival, and in 2000 he made his masterpiece, Faust I and II, for the Expo in Hanover. He then worked for the Opéra de Lyon and took his productions of Pushkin, Schiller, Becket, and Dostoevsky throughout Europe and the United States. In 2010, he won an Ubu Award and a Europe Theatre Prize; in 2013, he debuted at the Festival of 2Worlds; and in 2015, he directed Aida at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. His most recent productions include Le Misantrophe by Molière, starring Lambert Wilson, and Crise de nerf, three one-act plays by Anton Chekhov.
Sulle tracce di Goethe in Sicilia (doc, 2020).
“A journey that follows in Goethe's footsteps is a journey that lets us know and discover Sicily in a new way, from the poet's perspective. And it is a journey that also takes into consideration what remains, today, of Goethe's experience. By encountering Sicilians today, it's possible to understand what they see in Goethe. Did he only flatter them with praise and admiration, or did he truly discover something special in them that other visitors hadn't noticed?”