Archive of films The Last Victory / De Laatste Overwinning
2003, 88 min
Section: Documentary Films - Competition
If you are an admirer of Italian culture then you won’t want to miss this exhilarating account of preparations for the sporting-cultural event of the year (and the event itself) in Tuscany’s Siena: the centuries’ old palio horse race.
You haven’ t heard of il palio? The Sienese live the whole year in anticipation of this centuries’ old horse race, which takes place right on the main square, the Piazza del Campo. Historically, the town was divided into districts, or contrade, whose inhabitants formed a close-knit community. Rivalry between the individual “towns within a town” climaxed with the exhilarating three-lap race. John Appel’s documentary presents the frenetic atmosphere of last year’s palio as he talks to the inhabitants of the Civetta (owl) district (which last won in 1979), and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the sporting-cultural event of the year. The passionate devotion with which 92-year-old Egidio speaks about “his” people and “his” quarter provokes enthusiasm, smiles and is touching. The film captures the remarkable solidarity between people of all generations, for whom winning this year’s palio is more important than anything else. Will Civetta win this year, or will its inhabitants soak the trampled sand of the Piazza del Campo for the 25th straight time?
About the director
John Appel (b. 1958) graduated in the classics at university in Amsterdam, and in camerawork and documentary filmmaking from the Dutch Film and Television Academy. Since 1987 he has shot more than 30 (primarily) television documentaries. In 1999 She Believes in Me (André Hazes, zij gelooft in mij) won the Joris Ivens Award at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). In 2000 he and Heddy Honigmann founded a production company. Selected filmography: Radio Daniëlle (1988), Trench of Death (1999), Thou Shalt Not Kill (2000), Naomi & Her Mother (2003), Senegal Surplace (2003).
Nicolaas Witsenkade 18-D, 1073EE, Amsterdam
Tel: +31 650695968
About the film
Color, 35 mm
|Section:||Documentary Films - Competition|
|Dir. of Photography:||Erik van Empel|
|Music:||Wouter van Bemmel|
|Contact:||Cobos Films, EYE Film Institute Netherlands, Films Transit International Inc.|
Film Director, Producer, Tutor / Trainer
Film Institution Rep., Distributor