Prima o dopo Sant’Anna
(Avant ou après Sant’Anne, 30 min, 2010, Canada, de Giovanni Princigalli,
en italien avec s.t. en français et anglais)
FIFEQ Festival International du Film Ethnographique du Québec
Ethno Film Fest Rovigno
Finaliste au concours video migrazioni du Musée de l’émigration Conti de Gualdo Tadino
Green Canada International Symposium Université de Salerno
Casa d’Italia de Montreal
The documentary film tells the story of an Italian wheat celebration dedicated to Saint Anne (born in 1805) that was transplanted in 1982 from Jelsi (an Italian town in the province of Campobasso) to Montreal.
The film describes how Italian-Canadians in Montreal, originally from Jelsi, created twin-city ties with a small town in Ontario called, Sainte-Anne de Prescott (the only town in Ontario whose name honours Saint Anne). Every year, Italian-Canadians from Jelsi visit Sainte-Anne de Prescott to harvest the wheat.
In Jelsi, Italy, the annual wheat celebration is held on July 26. In Montreal, the event takes place in the last week of August when the wheat is ready for harvesting.
Through the use of rich archival sources, the film offers a fascinating—at once, lightly ironic, and sweetly poetic–glance at social and cultural issues still relevant today (including, migration, faith, the dangers of losing of ancient traditions, and Canadian multiculturalism).
The title of the film is inspired by a local proverb in Jelsi. It refers to the celebration of Saint Anne as a marker of the passage of time for local villagers. In fact, in Jelsi when people have to organize an event or project, they say, “Are you doing it before or after Sant’Anna?” However, the title of the film contains other messages as well. Once the first generation of immigrants will be gone, who will organize this celebration? Is this event a cultural heritage that belongs uniquely to Italian-Canadians or to all Canadians? How can we ensure that the cultural value and knowledge of workmanship involved in the celebration will be passed on to the younger generations?