Bella e perduta



From the bowels of Vesuvius, Pulcinella, a foolish servant, is sent to present-day Campania to grant the last wish of Tommaso, a simple shepherd: he must rescue a young buffalo called Sarchiapone.
In the Royal Palace of Carditello, an abandoned Bourbon residence in the heart of the ‘Land of Fires’ whose remains were looked after by Tommaso, Pulcinella finds the young buffalo and takes him towards the north. The two servants, man and beast, embark upon a long journey throughout a lost and beautiful Italy, at the end of which they will not find quite what they had expected.

Director's Statement

"I learnt to look at Italy contemplating its landscape from trains, rediscovering time after time its beauty and its ruin. I have often thought about making an itinerant film that would cross the provinces to describe Italy: beautiful, yes, but lost. Leopardi described it as a woman crying with her head in her hands due to the burden of history, the atavistic evil of being too beautiful.

When I chanced upon the Royal Palace of Carditello and the fairy tale – because it really is a fairy tale – of Tommaso, the ‘Angel of Carditello’, a shepherd who sacrificed everything to dedicate many years of his life to look after this abandoned artistic asset, I saw a powerful metaphor for what I felt compelled to describe. Following the premature and sudden death of Tommaso, BELLA E PERDUTA –initially conceived as a ‘journey through Italy’ intended to touch upon other regions – became a different film, marrying fairy tale and documentary, dream and reality.

Carditello is the symbol of a lost beauty and the struggle of an individual, an orphan who refuses to surrender to a rotten mechanism of destruction and decay. And at the same time this story, deeply rooted in our country’s history, examines a subject which has never been so universal: the relationship between man and nature. "

Director's Biography

Born in Caserta in 1976, he attended the Academy of Fine Arts where he studied Painting. Self-taught, he has worked as a teacher in a Naples prison, and he organised and planned the CineDamm film season between 1998 and 2003 at the Damm in Montesanto, Naples. During that period he started making radio programmes (“Il tempo dei magliari”) and documentaries. In 2003 he made his first short films, CARTA and SCAMPIA.
The following year he completed IL CANTIERE, a documentary that won the 11th edition of Libero Bizzarri. In 2005 he made the documentary LA BARACCA which won the public prize at Videopolis. That year he also collaborated as a volunteer with an NGO in Ivory Coast to create the documentary GRAND BASSAN.
In 2007 he made the documentary CROSSING THE LINE (Il Passaggio della Linea), which was presented at the 64th Venice IFF and brought him international acclaim.
In 2009 his first feature, THE MOUTH OF THE WOLF (La bocca del lupo), won Best Film and the FIPRESCI Prize at the 27th Turin FF, the Prix International de la Scam at the Festival Cinéma du Réel in Paris, the Caligari Preis at the Berlinale, the International Jury Prize and the Signis Prize at BAFICI and many others.
In 2011, he made THE SILENCE OF PELEŠJAN (Il silenzio di Pelešjan), which was presented as a special event at the 68th Venice IFF and participated in many international festivals.

2014 - 9X10 - L’UMILE ITALIA, short

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Pietro Marcello

Produced by: Sara Fgaier

Nominations and Awards

  • Documentary Selection 2016