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Massimo D’Anolfi & Martina Parenti

1016 || Italy/Switzerland || 121 mins || in French, English, German, Japanese || Documentary


Match Factory


Venice 2016 – Competition


In an abandoned theater, French actress Marina Vlady recites from Borges' "The Immortal"... Japanese research scientist Shin Kubota sings praises to the "immortal jellyfish"... Milan Duomo workers subject the cathedral's exquisite statues to perpetual regeneration... Swiss musician/inventors Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer persistently refine their percussion instrument, the Hang... Native American community leaders Leola One Feather and Moses Brings Plenty preserve the centuries-old spiritual resistance of their tribe...

Filmmakers Massimo D'Anolfi and Martina Parenti pay tribute to humankind's aspirations for immortality by showing us a portrait of our efforts to overcome our own limits. They share their discoveries in a visual symphony to the power and harmony of nature's elements: water, earth, air and fire. From Milan to Wounded Knee, USA, from Bern to Shirahama, Japan, the traces of the filmmakers' travels spiral into a symbol of perfection and infinity: Spira Mirabilis.


Marina Vlady
Shin Kubota
Felix Rohner & Sabina Schärer
Friederike Haslbeck
Leola One Feather
Moses Brings Plenty
The Workers and Statues of Milan's Duomo Cathedral


Although the film is a challenging watch, demanding attention and patience from audiences, it is one which is ultimately deeply, deeply rewarding... The emergent theme is of the seeking after permanence, immortality. From the jellyfish that can regenerate itself to the cathedral which will be constantly repaired, it is about the careful stewardship of the world around us. The attempt to conserve, retain and survive. This extends to entire peoples as is obvious from the footage of the Lakota Sioux who tell of their own fight for survival. Massimo D'Anolfi and Martina Parenti fill their documentary with beautiful images and there are genuine crescendos of revelation, which reward those who stay the distance.

— John Bleasdale, CINE-VUE

As their echoes scatter and cross to diffract again, many fragments make up a series of delicate variations on the material and its work, perfection and the futility of the quest for it, immortality and impermanence. This spiral structure is sublime in every shot...

— Julien Gester, LIBERATION (France)