History of Sicily in One Hundred Seconds: Video by Turi Scandurra

     As the title suggests, History of Sicily in One Hundred Seconds is a fast-running film with hyper-compact narration. For those who know little or nothing about Sicily’s history, they will be surprised by the great number of conflicts, wars, monarchies, dominations, martyrs, and crimes that plagued the island throughout the millennia.

Turi Scandurra, the video’s creator discusses his relationship with Sicily:

I was born in Sicily, but studied animation in California. When people ask me where I am from, I always say I’m Sicilian. And almost every single time, the other person responds with the word Mafia in his or her next sentence. So, I tend to reply, ‘Did you learn this in a movie?’ and we laugh. Usually, I explain that the problem does exist, but it is not in the romanticized form presented in the movies. Usually, I change the subject by bragging about tasty Sicilian pastries, our ice cream, granita, etc.

     I did this short movie to provide a little insight of how much history is involved regarding Sicily. I remember that a friend in San Francisco was showing me ‘a very ancient building’ dated circa 1830. I didn’t want to be rude, but my hometown was founded in 734 BCE!

     With this movie, I chose animation because when combined with screenwriting and cinematography it is the perfect process to convey thought and emotions. It allows for reflection while still providing entertainment to the audience. I don’t like to think of my career in animation as a dream. I see it as a very concrete process. Behind the scenes, it’s not as glamorous as some people believe. It involves continuous studying and learning. The biggest force that drives me is the certain pleasure of telling stories with meaning. In other words, understanding that what I create has genuine value and can be shared with others provides the magic of the experience.

     I intend to make more short films. My next animated short film will be set in Sicily, too. It will be a story about two young orange grove caretakers who live right next to a volcano (Can you guess its name?). I plan to use a lot of pictures for reference and to provide inspiration to viewers. With a careful eye, the audience will be able to spot a Sicilian cart shaped like the monument Liotru, the symbol of the city of Catania. Lacking historical accuracy, this next film will provide a tale about how work can set people free from injustice. The movie is still in production and will be ready by the end of 2012, but I have already published on my blog some of the painted backgrounds and some character designs that can be viewed.”

Reviewed by Kelli Scarpaci

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Kelli Scarpaci Reynolds
Kelli is National Board Certified in English language arts and holds a master’s degree in English language instruction along with school administration. Her secondary teaching endorsements include English, French, ESL, and history. Formerly, Kelli taught secondary English, served as department chair and mentor to new teachers, and was named teacher of the year. Currently, she oversees 6th-12th English language arts’ instruction at a district-level capacity, develops curriculum and assessment pieces, and provides professional development to teachers.

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