The Peasant and the Priest

Friday, May 2, 2014 - 7:00pm

This event has been cancelled.

CMS professors Judy Hoffman and Rebecca West screen The Peasant and the Priest and related clips, and lead discussion regarding migration of sub-Saharan African, Eastern European and Chinese peoples to Italy.

Connoisseurs of the good life go to Northern Italy in search of art, olive groves and good wine. But on the roads alongside the legendary fields, evidence of the forces of globalization is becoming apparent. In Tuscany, one of the most idealized areas of the world, human trafficking, chemicals in the wine, and contaminated olive oil are among the global effects of governmental indifference.

The Peasant and the Priest offers a reinterpretation of this much-loved region, a landscape shaped and transformed by co-existing extremes of human labor, cultivation and exploitation. Sergio, a sharecropper, uses ancient farming methods that have become overshadowed by corporate agriculture. Father Oreste fights the tide of sexual slavery, which grows each day as more and more women from Africa and Europe are forced into prostitution in Italy. The point of departure for exploring the two parallel lives is a 14th century fresco, The Allegory of Good and Bad Government, by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. Uniquely secular for its time, it tells a cautionary tale of struggles that are necessary to establish and maintain a republican form of government.

(Esther Podemski, 2010, DVD, 47 min, Italian and English)

Co-sponsored by the Department of Cinema and Media Studies.