16mm and digital - to digital
4 min. | B&W and Colour | sound | English
In 1962 Ernesto De Martino traveled to the South of Italy for his ethnographic research and shot "La Taranta." A study around women who were poisoned by a Tarantula bite while harvesting in the fields. The remedy against the deadly poison was a folk dance called Taranta. The women danced the poison out of their bodies with the help of local musicians and priests. Studies around this phenomenon have highlighted that these women were suffering severe mental illness and hysteria due to sexual abuse and poverty in the majority of cases.
In present-day Italy, a similar dynamic has resurfaced, uncovering immigrant women's stories (mostly from Romania) who were victims of agricultural and sexual exploitation in Ragusa, Sicily.
The reappropriated 1962 archival footage proposes a different angle of the story surrounding these women, not from the point of view of a man who has undertaken to observe them, but from the perspective of a woman from the South of Italy.