21st THESSALONIKI DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL [1-10/3/2019]
Documentary screening: Open to the Public from the tribute “The Paper Chase”
The audience at the 21st Thessaloniki Documentary Festival had the chance to watch the documentary Open to the Public by Silvia Bellotti on Thursday 7 March 2019 at Tonia Marketaki theater. The film is part of the tribute “The Paper Chase” held in this year’s TDF edition, which screens, admission-free, five films that deal with various aspects and dimensions of the global phenomenon of bureaucracy.
The documentary Open to the Public focuses on everyday life at the premises of the Independent Institute for Public Housing (IACP) of Naples, Italy, and sheds light to the complicate bureaucratic mechanisms, as well as the human stories that unfold there. The film’s producer Antonella Di Nocera attended the screening and talked with the audience. She thanked the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival for the invitation and explained that the main contributors to this film are three female students from Naples film school. As she noted, “These three girls made this film in the context of their traineeship. I am the producer and their school director. Our aim was to give young people the chance to reflect their own view on things. Silvia’s idea was to make a film on how bureaucracy can coexist with humaneness. In Naples, people express their emotions loudly, and this was reflected in the film. We are very happy of the result, and the fact that the film is traveling in all over the world”.
Asked about the size of bureaucracy in Italy and whether similar phenomena exist at the north of the country, Mrs Di Nocera replied that bureaucracy is huge throughout the country, but “in South Italy there are employees who try to find solutions, sometimes bypassing the law”.
The audience was impressed by a particular character in the film, Salvatore, a civil servant who helps people willingly and selflessly. Mrs Di Nocera commented that “this is the same Salvatore we met and recorded. This is what the director saw. This public servant works there for 40 years. Perhaps it is not that obvious, but that’s the human-employee model she wanted to show”.
The audience also asked the producer whether there is e-governance in Italy and at what level, and how often do citizens appeal against the State when there is no progress in resolving their cases. “The institute where the film unfolds is peripheral, it’s not directly ‘the State’. I don’t know if the particular citizens would protest or do something agains the State for a number of reasons, i.e. they come from lower social strata. In addition, the cost of such a legal procedure is huge, and let’s not forget that it’s also a question of culture, since these people feel that if they did something like this, they could lose whatever they have gained”.
The tribute “The Paper Chase” is financed by the Operational Program “Public Administration Reform” and co-funded by the European Union (European Social Fund) and national funds. All venues that host the screenings of the tribute “The Paper Chase” are accessible to people with disabilities. Free Admission - Zero value ticket is required for your admission to the screening.