Earthly Paradise

People from Cilento


Cilento, which does not like to feel like the province of Salerno, is almost entirely contained in the "National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano" since 1997 protected by UNESCO. 180,000 hectares of land, the second largest park in Italy. Yet, cut off from the routes of the highways, far from historical or artistic cities, it lives in an ancient, medieval isolation. The Cilento and its National Park are an unknown land, even to Italians, closed by mountains dotted with caves and covered first with olive trees and then, meter after meter, by chestnut and pine trees. Travelling through Cilento is like travelling through history. Everything seems motionless since the time of Velia, a Roman city dear to Cicero, or petrified as in the houses of Rossigno or in the ruins of San Severino. In reality, time simply passes with a different, slower pace: the fall of the olives, the rhythms of fishing, the slowness with which the hot summer flows, from which there is escape only in the cool of the evening, in long chats at the tables of bars. A fascinating and melancholic land, crumbled by the sun and held together by the centuries-old roots of twisted olive trees and myrtle bushes fighting against the sea wind. Wrinkled men and olive trees, hardened by the harshness of nature and the fatigue of an ancient and difficult agricultural work. Cilento is a land that opens unexpectedly in the south of Campania. We will travel and tell the story starting from the men, the stones of the houses, the olive trees (some millenary and real natural monuments), and the rich and varied fauna that populates the Mediterranean scrub Cilento. It will be a poetic journey to discover the most intimate heart of a land and its inhabitants. We will tell the story of Cilento from its interior, from the shadow of its houses, from its silent and winding streets, from the ruins of an Aragonese tower or from the veranda of a fishing house, from the slopes of a mountain covered with olive trees or from a boat that on the waves of the Tyrrhenian Sea seeks the body or soul of Palinuro, helmsman of Aeneas. We will tell those olive trees protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, as a living monument that has silently observed the passing of the seasons, protecting a land that has always been different from any other land. 

Written by
Michele Mellara e Alessandro Rossi
Directed by Michele Mellara e Alessandro Rossi
Executive Producer Ilaria Malagutti
Photography Michele Mellara
Sound Recordist Alessandro Rossi
Music Nicola Bagnoli and Sandra Reggiani
Edited by Simone Belisario, Michele Mellara, Alessandro Rossi
Produced by Mammut Film srl and Alessandro Bonifazi for CEM srl with the support of the  National park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano
Time lenght 30’
Support DVcam
Spoken language Italian
Year 2005

World Sales

Distributor: Mammut Film
Home Video: Ermitage Cinema CG (2005), Italy



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