In Panzano (2000), made with Ulrike Molsen, a group of older people are observed (and orchestrated) living in an impoverished, rural home. They act out a series of oblique characters, speaking isolated sentences of personal melodrama, in a fiction of their own making. The film defies, as much as it documents, the mistreatment of these people by the Italian mental health system. This system remains as external to the film itself as any psychological diagnosis of its subjects might, while explaining aspects of its content or its forgotten origins. (Ian White)

While all of Barba’s films are concerned with the critical re-animation of the visual and narrative identities she disintegrates and re-attributes, Panzano specifically stages this as a scenario of social misrecognition, in which the protagonists are no longer the 'leftovers’ of the Italian anti-psychiatric movement, but are taken seriously in their own social construction.
 
Panzano, 2000

16-mm film, color, magnetic sound, 22 min


Images 1, 2: Film still © Rosa Barba