Exciting journey into the invisible: tonight in Polistena Domenico Iannacone. Our interview

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By John

Who loved the programs of Domenico Iannaconefor many years the leading edge of Rai’s best cultural offering (where we hope it will return very soon), knows what we are talking about: its stories that tell of fragility and beauty, hidden lives, the suffering that no one listens to, draw sentimental maps of the country, forcefully pose the theme of community as sharing, social justice, listening, attention to others. His “investigations into humanity”, miraculously translated into television language of great enchantment and power, «The ten commandments», «What am I doing here» – which arrived after years of award-winning reportage, marking a turning point and a new wealth for the Molise journalist – were milestones for the third public service network.

Now that same voice, that attitude to talk about humanity – beyond the facts, beyond the surfaces, but also beyond judgement, in the territory of empathy, understanding, sharing – has taken another path towards the heart of public: tonight at the Municipal Auditorium of Polistena (9pm), for “Teatrocalls Earth”, the new season of Dracma – Centro Sperimentale d’Arti Sceniche, «What am I doing here» will be staged, by and with Domenico Iannacone, a production by Teatro del Loto – Teatri Molisani already sold out, and highly applauded, throughout Italy. The human, too human, stories of Iannacone (e there will also be a beautiful Calabrian story: that of Bartolo Mercuri, “father Africa” ​​as they call him in Maropati where he founded the association Il cenacolo, which helps many “invisibles”) will become drama and gesture and scenic emotion. Because we are, we must be tireless human “truth seekers”. He tells us about it himself.

What do you bring, of all the stories you have told on TV, to this show of, how to call it, ethical theatre, civil theatre, post-journalistic theatre? How did you choose stories told in another form?
«In the meantime I have established a new contact with the word which was previously, let’s say, very rarefied in my television narration. Here the word forcefully enters the story and triggers an almost more analytical dimension, with different perspectives, with different passages. It’s as if at a certain point I took time through words, therefore also breaking the fourth wall, physically entering the scene to tell the stories from another angle. As if I had had the opportunity to draw attention to some things that television, the speed of television, in the past did not give me the opportunity to analyze. It is a choice that has to do with a plot in which I have tried to insert my human dimension, which is also made up of a cultural background, of why I have told certain things on television in a certain way: it is as if I revealed myself, until I found harmony with the stories I told. There is a flow of images, stories, testimonies that are very close to each other. There is a part that is linked to the story of fragility, of marginalization. To the environmental problem, which is a topic that is very close to my heart. And above all there is the dimension of a story that wants to give the spectator the opportunity to reacquire their own humanity. It is a civil theater that moves precisely on this register: giving those who come to assist strong motivations to self-question themselves, on the vision of a world that should be more just”.

What is there journalism and what is there theater in this new form of narration that you have chosen? And how do you define yourself: journalist, playwright, narrator, master plotter of stories…?
«It is a show that has many registers: from the word we move to the image, from the image we move to an almost more suspended dimension. Theatrical, because there are monologues in which I recite and narrate from memory. There is a very strong part linked to poetry, for example: these things make me be myself and also many others. They continually double me and this, however, allows me to reclaim my cultural identity, for example in the direction of poetry, which has been my way of approaching the word and therefore also in search of the truth.”

Speaking of truth: what would you like journalism to be today? You recently defined it as an “outpost of rights”, and also in some way an antenna that catches things before others. Capture and then tell: but how should it be, in the world where information is pervasive and yet in crisis, where newspapers are read less and less and the market makes the rules for TV?
«I believe that journalism should regain possession of its capacity for analysis and in-depth analysis, something which is completely going out of fashion. We are satisfied with the surface and this does not allow us to know the facts well or to fully enter into the stories. It is an element that must lead us to a different vision of this profession. We have a task: to be sentinels of rights, of denied information. I see that there is a strong homologation, and we must play a role, precisely, as an outpost. Something that I am very rarely seeing as a prerogative of this profession.”

Is there anything you would like to tell that you haven’t told yet?
«I would really like to talk about childhood, which is something difficult to talk about on television. A world that I consider the least contaminated and the purest. I think of the work that Comencini has done with children, for example. That work is as if he had opened a narrative that only the little ones can give us of what we call society. And then I also want to revisit stories that I told 4 or 5 years ago, pick up the thread of the narrative and understand what has happened in the meantime, what has been resolved and what remains. In this way we can understand, after some time, where we are going and where perhaps we are even making mistakes.”

What do you get from the audience today, the one who breathes in the room with you, who feels the vibrations of your voice? What type of exchange is created with the huge and enthusiastic audience that is following you on this tour?
«This is a kind of immersion. A time of meetings, almost of hugs. Evidently the television absence was perceived and became a lack for an audience that perhaps loved a certain way of telling stories. This allows them to be united again, to immerse themselves again in what they have seen and loved on television. For me there is a very strong emotional return. Because television is cold, it’s distant. I am distant. In this way, however, it is as if I perceive everything about the audience who is there, sitting in front of me, and in the end, often, when they melt into that liberating applause it is as if they give me back energy, warmth, strength, vitality. It’s something priceless: I think that when I return to television this thing could be something I miss. So I really believe that I will have to continue to do theater…”.

And we hope so with him.