Hands across the sea
Marko Roth’s intriguing short film depicts the essence of the island of Sicily through hand gestures.
- Director Marko Roth
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This captivating film, Hands of Sicily, somehow captures so much about Sicilian life through a macro study of hands going about their business.
Acclaimed German director Marko Roth and DP Josua Stäbler have created a cinematic portrait of the island through the eloquent language of hand movements. Whether it’s cheese-making, raising a cigarette to the mouth or fixing long hair prior to a dip in emerald seas, the scenes tantalise with a promise of the wider landscape beyond.
But staying close to the digits focuses the attention on subtle gestures and nuanced expressions that reveal something of the rich tapestry of Sicilian life and tradition, as well as the impact of non−verbal communication.
Shot entirely on a single roll of 35mm film, with just four minutes of raw footage, the film takes a novel approach to storytelling. Roth comments: “The approach was to go with the flow. No schedule, no crew, no fixed locations, no expectations. We didn’t know anyone in Sicily, and somehow stumbled from one aperitivo to the next, meeting artists, farmers, and nonnas. The result is very raw and very simple: an intimate portrait of Sicily.”