Cineforum Italiano: Passione - Un'avventura musicale

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54 people went

Price: $9.00
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"Napoli is one of those places where after fresh air, food, and shelter, music is an essential ingredient for the survival of the people. There are places that do something to you, deep down in your unconscious, in your soul. Naples is that for me, as it has been for so many other people in the arts—poets, writers, painters, and musicians throughout the ages. We journey through one of the biggest jukeboxes in the world, a treasure chest of songs, from 1200 to now, conjuring distant stories and myths that still live, a repertoire that speaks of love, sex, jealousy, and social protest. This musical adventure, traversing the city, comes out of the people, the walls that surround them, and the land they inhabit. The performers, some from Napoli and some from abroad, are not just singers in the film, but storytellers."

—John Turturro

John Turturro, 2010, Italy, USA, 35mm, 90 min, English subtitles


When acclaimed actor-director John Turturro was invited to make a film about Neapolitan music he was intrigued, as an Italian-American who grew up with many of the swooning ballads that had been popularized. When he revisited the place and met the artists living there carrying on the tradition, he was completely blown away. The city had so much to say, there was nothing to do but sit back and listen. Preconceived ideas evaporated and what was meant to be a straight-ahead documentary transformed into a wild fantasia, an adventure into the vibrations of history.

In the film’s 23 songs, you can hear the cultures of many invaders, the Greeks, Arabs, French, Spanish, Normans, and Americans. Eight centuries echo in the aqueducts in “Canto Delle Lavandaie (Washerwomen’s Song).” In “Tammuriata Nera,” WWII is relived as Al Dexter’s twang collides with the primal roar of Peppe Barra. “O Sole Mio” becomes blend of goldenage television performances and the North African vibe, and “Malafemmena” is portrayed for the first time in all its irony, in the context of its very inspiration. The song “Vesuvio” is performed only as it can be by those who live at the foot of the volcano bearing that name.

Each song, whether written in protest or superstition, out of love, jealousy, or poverty, is an emotional postcard about what has changed and what has not. In Naples, life, death, hunger, and brutality are ever present, but a solitary voice on the street can cause an entire intersection to break out into song. Passione is Turturro’s celebration of that. With the aid of journalist Federico Vaccalabre, cinematographer Marco Pontecorvo, and editor Simona Paggi, along with the resourceful crew of Neapolitans, he has let the film come directly out of the people, the walls that surround them, and the land they inhabit, and invited us all to join in the song.


Un viaggio suggestivo a Napoli. Canzoni e cantanti, musicisti e poeti, personaggi reali e mitici della pellicola una delle metropoli più belle, famose e controverse del mondo, una delle pochissime in grado di incarnare un’idea della vita. Una celebrazione delle storie e delle leggende napoletane attraverso i caroselli canori alle voci di strada, la sceneggiata al videoclip, la storia della canzone.

Event Schedule:

5:00 pm: Doors open. 5:15 pm: Program begins with introductions and film The film will be followed by serving of FREE gelato courtesy of Dolci Gelati! Please take the opportunity to socialize and discuss the film. Payment:

Tickets are $9 with our group discount. You'll be able to purchase tickets online, with a phone call or at the box office while seats are available.

Click here to purchase online ( NOTE: Select the STUDENT option to receive the $2.00 discount. You identification will not be checked at the theater for our special screening. Call[masked] to purchase from the box office or you can purchase directly at the theater as long as seats are available.



Review (in English) ( New York Times Review ( Recensione (in italiano) ( Our Sponsors:

Dolci Gelati: A local artisan gelato company started in 2005 by Gianluigi Dellaccio. FREE samples of gelato will be served after the film. Sorrento Lingue: Study Italian in Sorrento, Italy. Immerse yourself in Italian life, language and culture at Sant'Anna Institute-Sorrento Lingue. Improve your language skills in a truly unique learning experience: small classes, native speaking teachers, an interactive and communicative teaching approach. Here's a link to the special offer being made to our Meetup group: Click here ( A special music video prepared for this film:


West End Cinema is located at 2301 M Street, NW at the corner of 23rd and M in the heart of Washington, DC’s West End neighborhood. It's two blocks north of George Washington University; three blocks southwest of Dupont Circle; and four blocks east of Georgetown. Click for more information (