June Screening Set in Calabria for Michael DiLauro's “La Mia Strada/ My Road”

Feb 24, 2017 1025

BY: Ben Lariccia

This summer, the University of Calabria, in collaboration with the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, will host the "Italian Diaspora Studies Summer Seminar." As part of the program in Arcavacata di Rende, Cleveland-born moviemaker Michael DiLauro will screen his recent feature length production on June 21. 

In La Mia Strada/My Road, the Emmy Award winning filmmaker renews his ancestral ties to the centuries-old culture of long distance sheep herding, la transumanza.  Along the way, the viewer is treated to interviews with present day Italian shepherds, to emotional encounters with Di Lauro’s Pugliese relatives, and to the haunting traditional shepherd's music performed by DisCanto from the Abruzzo region of Italy. 

This is a highly personal perspective that links ancient and contemporary Italian folkways with their Italian American counterparts. In tracing these connections, the filmmaker presents the viewer with a beautifully filmed movie about memories lost and recovered. In fact, what DiLauro's skillful lens records, in America and Italy, underscores the very weight of memory on immigrant lives. The production boasts many moving moments. For example, we take in heartfelt interviews as DiLauro connects family members who once earned their living as shepherds. In these, people speak movingly of decades-old separation from loved ones across the Atlantic and the resulting losses of culture and language. And joyfully, the moviemaker records the moments in which his American family members encounter their Italian cousins in the small town of Ascoli Satriano near Foggia. 

La Mia Strada/My Road was recently screened at Italian film festivals in Salerno and Palestrina, and at the Atlantic City Film Festival. DiLauro's movie was awarded a Silver Medal from the Media Communications Association-International Film Festival along with several presentations at cultural centers and universities throughout the United States. In 2013, the documentary kicked off the Chicago Catholic Immigrant Conference: The Italians, sponsored by Loyola University, Casa Italia, and the Italian Cultural Institute Chicago. 

This is not DiLauro’s first foray into ethnic identity. A previous documentary, Prisoners Among Us: Italian American Identity and WWII was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the New York International Independent Film Festival. 

"Combining sage storytelling with brilliant cinematography, this documentary (La Mia Strada) is a joy to watch and a lesson for all who ache for better knowledge of their personal histories.”Fred Gardaphè, Distinguished Professor of English and Italian American Studies, Queens College/CUNY and the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute 

Watch the film trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zQKubXdK7Q

For more Information visit: www.lamiastrada.org

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