La pietra nera

Italy/ 30’/ Colour / 2011

Genre Documentary
Director Giampaolo Penco
Screenwriter Giampaolo Penco
Production company Videoest

Since 1st May 2008, a high marble column (with a black stone in the centre) dominates the main square of Genk (a town in Northern Belgium). This is a work by Lucino Fabbro, a Friulian artist who suddenly died on 22nd June 2007. The column of Genk is his last masterpiece and shows a strong connection between the artist and the recipients. Between 1946 and 1956 thousands of men left Friuli for Belgium: they were desperate, they had nothing and they were barely surviving. The accounts and the memories of those who are still living are very strong. Nowadays one third of Genk population has Italian origins, most part of which is from Friuli. Many of them still remember their fathers and husbands, who spent their lives in the mines: conditions were terrible and many a worker died there. The column has been dedicated to those people, as a perennial symbol of hard working and toil. Arts should always elevate the spirits of those who work: it is a purpose but also a warning; when this is ignored, there can only be decadence.

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