Luigi Acquisto’s films
(1986, 32 mins, 16mm, drama)
Films" by Susan Dermody, Essays, AFI Catalogue, 1988.
imperfect miracle of a film, oblique in its preoccupation with
memory. I think Fellini would feel a twinge of envy if he saw
(1986, 32 mins, 16mm, drama)
Circuit" by Vikki Riley, Cinema Papers, November 1986.
by Luigi Acquisto, is simply a knockout, a Swinburne student film
without any trace of industry mimickry, which represents a very
Australian instance of cross-cultural filmmaking. It is in Italian,
with subtitles, set in the sixties but without any traces of nostalgia.
Its basic themes are the push and pull of family life, transplanted
from Italy to Australia, and the sense of loss that implies, as
well as the value of the family bond.
still obsessively tends his pigs, the family still upholds the
supremacy of work as an indicator of honour, the homosexual son
is frowned upon and, when he is called up, it is a chilling joke
that this is a result of his eagerness to be an Australian citizen.
a recurring metaphor of death and renewal in the companionship
between the grandfather and the grandson, a sense of inheritance
and continuity in the last scene where the boy buries the old
man in a routine fashion that rivals any scene from Kaos,
concluding the film on a folkloric note, somewhere in Altona.
Were Monks (2000, 5 x 26 mins, video, documentary,
co-director – Andrew Sully)
Were Monks" by Andrew Haughton, TV Eye, Eye Magazine,
April 9, 2000.
This is pure
pleasure. A bunch of monks in Melbourne has to move across the
road to a pub while their place is being renovated. Producer/director
Luigi Acquisto has made this so well and so unobtrusively that
any sense of film-making is lost in the delight of watching the
men of the Blessed Sacrament Order at St Francis Church and Monastery
handle their domestic upheavals. Clinically blind Brother Gerard
Devlin has to entrust his budgie, Francis, to a nervous nun for
safekeeping. "Be a good budgie," she says and then adds
a heartfelt "Don’t die". They enjoy a drink, a joke,
a good time and a good argument. Gather Gonzalo is impressed by
the Dalai Lama; less so with church. Father Ken likes doing aerobatics
in a glider. I love this and am pleased to tell you there are
four more episodes. Bravo, Luigi.
Timor - Rosa's Story
Timor – Birth of a Nation (2002, 2 x 55 mins, video,
Episode One - Rosa's Story (Director: Luigi Acquisto)
Nation Unmerciful" by Corrie Perkin, Critical Mass, The
Sunday Age, May 19, 2002.
ABC remains committed to broadcasting documentary series such
East Timor – Birth of a Nation (True Stories, Tuesday,
10pm) it deserves strong Federal Government support. At the very
least, can someone please hurry up and appoint a managing director?
short film in this series, Rosa’s Story, captures
the hardships of a fledgling democracy through the experiences
of one 27-year-old woman. Born on the eve of Indonesia’s occupation
of her country, Rosa fled the occupying forces of 1975 with her
parents and seven brothers and sisters. Her mother died of starvation,
her father was tortured and murdered. Six of her siblings perished.
And still, Rosa loves her country.
At the time
the film was made – one year after the 1999 referendum – Rosa
is a widow and a mother of six. The three older children live
in orphanages because their mother is too poor to feed, clothe
and educate them. As we join Rosa on her long bus trip to visit
her offspring, we hear her tale and gain a little understanding
of East Timor’s trip to hell and back again.
militia was burning the houses so we ran here," Rosa recalls
the tense period in 1999 following the nation’s vote for independence.
"We could not open the gate so we ripped off the wire and
threw the children over so we could shelter inside." As she
walks around the old United Nations compound, we see the metres
of barbed wire on the ground. "The militia would have killed
evacuated to Australia with her three youngest boys. Her two daughters
and oldest son were kept safe by the nuns and priests, although
Rosa weeps when she explains her children were told their mother
might have perished in the fighting.
many women like Rosa in East Timor. Her husband, the father of
four of the children, died of malaria. Rosa then twice became
pregnant to men who promised to marry her and take care of her
children. This is very common, explains one nun, among women who
have lost husbands in the fighting, or through one the prevalent
illnesses such as malaria. To see Rosa in her one-room shanty
in the hills outside Dili, her kitchen just a pile of rocks around
a small open fire, and her bedroom only a mattress she shares
with her three boys, you understand the severe poverty of this
to the ABC for screening this documentary, although we must again
complain about this potentially alienating 10pm timeslot. Rosa’s
story deserves to be heard by every Australian who was riveted
to the events of late 1999, and who remain anxious for the rebuilding
the respective authors.
to Luigi Acquisto profile