Open Air Cinema on Aug. 29 in Campo San Polo; the cultural and civic importance of citizens bringing back a beloved tradition.

The following article does a great job explaining the history behind tomorrow’s filming of Yuppi Du, as well as what the effort means to the citizens of Venice. This line from the piece provides an accurate – and stirring – synopsis:

“To be out in the open in one’s own city, to see a film that was produced in a Venice still on a human scale, these things have become political gestures that aim to make heard the unheard will of Venetian Citizens.”

Open-air cinema beyond the glamour of the Venice Film Festival

Everyone will bring their chair from home, the evening of 29 August, for a special occasion: the return of open-air cinema to Venice. The “sheriff” Luigi Brugnaro does not only have to be concerned with those who cry “Allahu Akbar” in Piazza San Marco, but also with the cultural traditions in the life of Venetians.

In the past, on the occasion of the Film Festival, the citizens of the Lagoon City enjoyed viewing open-air films, first in Campo Sant’Angelo, then in Campo San Polo. This was a cultural event that was certainly not among the more expensive events that weigh heavily on the City budget, but rather an important occasion to get together and watch a cinematic work of art. Notwithstanding this, Commissioner Vittorio Zappalorto (recall that the city was place under a temporary Commission in 2014) decided to discontinue the event, hoping to recover, even from here, some of the money lost to the great corruption connected to MOSE. The Brugnaro Administration has never restored it, even if the Mayor does not seem insensitive to the week of art: he enjoys his open-air, however, on the mainland.

Gruppo 25 Aprile, a Venetian civic movement that organized the demonstration of 2 July 2017 against mass tourism, wanted to bring back open-air cinema, asking for the support of Clan Celentano, who have always been sensitive to this type of battle. When Luigi Brugnaro would not make the Palazzo Ducale available for Berengo Gardin’s exhibition on cruise ships, Adriano Celentano tweeted: “If there is one thing that a Mayor should never do it is hide the truth, even when it is not welcome”.

For this citizens’ initiative, Clan Celentano have granted, free of charge, the rights to Yuppi Du, a film of great symbolic value for Venice, in which appear Lino Toffolo and Adriano Celentano. The screening on the 29th is completely self-financed by a citizenry that sees, day after day, their city crumbling under the extreme pressure of tourists. No public money, therefore, but rather sharing among individual citizens, businesses and associations. An evening that stands in contrast to that of the prior 26 June, with Red Ronnie in Piazza Ferretto, which cost 45,000 Euro for the City, and was not even that successful for the improvised expert on vaccinations. Money used, in my opinion, without bringing any real contribution to the cultural life of Mestre and Venice.

During the evening 2000 copies of the publication Cinema in Campo will be distributed, to which some of the great names of the cinematic scene have contributed for free, critics of the caliber of Paolo Merghetti. This number recalls the publication Circuito Cinema, the monthly widely read by cinema lovers, and discontinued by the current administration.

The Venice Film Festival is an event that attracts world attention. Lots of press, many red carpets, Hollywood and European stars, and after a few days, the attention of the press moves on to another festival. This year lovers of cinema will be found not only a Lido, but also in Campo San Polo for the screening of Yuppi Du. To be out in the open in one’s own city, to see a film that was produced in a Venice still on a human scale, these things have become political gestures that aim to make heard the unheard will of Venetian Citizens.

The Press will do well to recall, alongside the glamour of the Film Festival, that this initiative too has its own cultural and civic importance.

By Alon Altaras

Source:, 28 August 2017

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