Published: 23 November 2020 at 00:01
Documentary about Italian town is released 40 years after earthquake struck
A new documentary about an Italian town destroyed by a major earthquake is being officially released 40 years to the day that disaster struck.
The film, called Italia Terremotata, focuses on the experiences of the people of Senerchia. It has been produced by cultural heritage experts from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and the University of Essex, who believe the methods used in the film could help other communities devastated by natural disasters.
The researchers have used 3D technology to recreate the old Senerchia, which was destroyed by a magnitude 6.9 earthquake that struck southern Italy at 7.34pm local time on 23 November 1980. They have combined this footage with interviews with those affected, songs, poems, and archive material, including photos and newspaper reports.
Although a new town of Senerchia was eventually rebuilt nearby, in the film the residents explain how they failed to recapture the cohesion and spirt of the old Senerchia. Many of those affected ended up leaving the area altogether.
The academics believe the novel techniques used in this film can be deployed elsewhere to help those affected by natural catastrophic events – both to reconnect with what they have lost and recreate their sense of community.
Using a 3D laser scanner and 360-degree panoramas, Dr Paola Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco and Dr Fabrizio Galeazzi were able to create a digital replica of the old town in Senerchia with accurate interpretations of the surfaces and colours.
Dr Paola Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco, from the University of Essex’s School of Philosophy and Art History, said:
Dr Fabrizio Galeazzi, Research Fellow at ARU’s StoryLab Research Institute, said:>
The film will be officially launched on 23 November, and a one-day online workshop will take place on 27 November, featuring discussions about community engagement and resilience, as well as an introduction to the film and the research underpinning it.
In addition to the 3D virtual reality film, a traditional, linear documentary is also being released on 23 November, featuring music by singer Vinicio Capossela. The Italian language version has been narrated by poet Franco Arminio.
Dr Galeazzi added: