The initial idea was to explore some of the themes about narrative I was interested in at the time, such as identity and its construction, sense of belonging, global history. The images of the two countries are interspersed together with stereotypes constructed by the mass media. Beginning with old images projected by an old 8mm film, the young woman is going through her childhood memories. A phone rings and the answering voice replies (as if carrying on an ongoing conversation) “no, I’ve said it already. I’m not coming back” in a foreign language. The young woman is talking to her mother who is at the other end of the line and is asking, an all too often repeated question: “When are you going to come home again?”
X Isles is a highly personal work, produced during a period of intense questioning and inner search. I was at the end of my first degree and this was to be the final project. It was not produced with an audience in mind and I myself wasn’t clear about the outcome: I never claimed to want to make it for other people. I was searching for something and wasn’t interested in thinking about audiences! The process of creative filmmaking in itself was the thing that really mattered. Besides, it was a time for experimentation in the craft of storytelling on video, as well as a period of profound identity crisis. I had my head full of fascinating theory which I absorbed and debated in a foreign language for three intense years, an experience that totally change me and left me with an excruciating yearning to find my roots again –through language, through images, through stereotypes, through sound, music, memories, food. But it felt like trying to grab hold of water: I could no longer find what I was looking for in my Italian heritage and in the process I ended up wondering what were there to be found anyway.
This is what X Isles is about, the internal struggle one ends up fighting when one loses perspective of the process of growth and tries to resist change. It can be very messy and one is left feeling raw and vulnerable and, indeed, exposed. Looking back at all this obviously gives me perspective on that period and I can say that, despite the mess, it was all very enjoyable and even therapeutic. Now I’m left with a tangible memory of what was going on in my mind at that time. As I mentioned already, X Isles is a highly personal narrative, at times obscure and even amusing perhaps. It’s an inconclusive narrative that goes in circles and cycles and that’s how I see life. Those who have watched it have been able to enjoy it perhaps because of its innocence and rawness.
I will always look upon X Isles with fondness as it contains memories, my personal memories and images from childhood with people who are no longer with us. I urge anybody to do the same, to use the medium of video as a tool for expression, and I’m keen to help others piecing together their stories through a visual narrative. That’s my aim now, to build awareness of the benefits of writing one’s story on video and offer a new vehicle for video production and consumption as a tool in coaching, through Visionwell ©
X Isles - Part 1
X Isles - Part 2