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Architecture Offers Clues to the Past in La Sapienza

Architecture Offers Clues to the Past in La Sapienza

In Eugène Green's La Sapienza, a refugee identifying as a member of the long-disappeared Chaldean nation remarks that eventually his ethnic group and their language (Aramaic) will vanish. Regardless of whether the refugee is meant to be a vision, a ghost, or something else entirely, his point casts its shadow across this stirring film. So much human history vanishes, so in the present we strive to understand the past through whatever totems we can find. The totemic focus of Green's film is architecture. Alexandre (Fabrizio Rongione) and Aliénor (Christelle Prot Landman) are a French couple on holiday in Italy; he is a venerated architect reconnecting with the works of Francesco Borromini. The couple meets teenage Italian siblings Goffredo (Ludovico...

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