Malpensa Airport in Milan. The tale of a maze-like structure over four seasons: a city consisting of sterile spaces where merchandise and people coexist and where one easily loses one's bearings. A place of arrivals and departures, of systematic controls, of interrogations and exercises, and a “castle” that people have adopted as a sort of residence. A cordial and symbolic film about our existence on earth.
Malpensa symbolises all Italian airports: a crossroads of departures and arrivals ruled by precise timings and inflexible positions. Like the fortress of a new kingdom, this modern-day no man’s land represents a place to analyse contemporary consumption of travel with its enjoyable and ontological aspects, economic trade and social signification, as well as a laboratory to measure the new methods to monitor and control citizens, especially when it visits the areas closed off to the public that make up a large part of the airport. The documentary-making duo realise their idea of cinema by composing a visual symphony that makes use of the cyclical progression of the seasons and gives a voice to the multitude and the individual, alternating the portrayal of a collective area with the individual stories of those that pass through it, are stuck there or who’ve managed to turn it into their own home. A pictorial essay on control.
Programmer and critic
Italian filmmakers Martina Parenti (1972, Milan) and Massimo D'Anolfi (1974, Pescara) have been working together for about fifteen years. They created the production company Montmorency Film. Their career began in 2007 with "I promessi sposi" (The Bride and Groom), selected at the Locarno Film Festival and awarded at the Festival dei Popoli and the Filmaker Festival. This was followed by "Grandi speranze" (2009), shot between Italy and China, also selected for Locarno, and "Il castello" (2011), shot entirely at Malpensa airport, which won numerous awards at international festivals. "Materia oscura" (2014), presented at the 63rd Berlinale Forum, won the prize for best film on human rights at the Bafici of Buenos Aires. With "L'infinita fabbrica del Duomo" (2015), presented at the Locarno Film Festival, they begin their exploration of the elements of nature and the tension towards immortality, which will culminate with "Spira mirabilis" (2016), in competition at the 73rd Venice Film Festival. They return to Venice with the short film "Blu" (2018) and with "War and Peace" (2020), in the Orizzonti section.