Il Buco

(Italy/2021—directed by Michelangelo Frammartino) 

During the economic boom of the 1960s, Europe’s highest building is being erected in Italy’s prosperous North. At the other end of the country, young speleologists explore Europe’s deepest cave in the untouched Calabrian hinterland. The bottom of the Bifurto Abyss, 700 meters below Earth, was reached for the first time in 1961, using crude helmet lanterns and flaming torches to light the way. The explorers’ venture goes unnoticed by the inhabitants of a neighboring village, but not by an old shepherd, whose solitary life begins to converge with the group’s journey.

Casting real speleologists, the visionary Frammartino (Le Quattro Volte) meticulously recreates the descent into this seemingly fathomless cave of wonder and amazement, using cameras with extended fiber optic cables. A nearly wordless work of stunning organic beauty, Il Buco parallels two great voyages to the interior. Special Jury Prize, Venice Film Festival. In Italian with English subtitles. (93 minutes)

“Where nature, the universe, and humans converge… A mystical cinematic experience.” –Bong Joon-ho, director of Parasite