“Più in alto delle nuvole”/ “Higher than the Clouds” (Italy/ France, 2015, Fredo Valla, 52’)

On September 23rd 1910, Géo Chavez, a 23 year old French aviator, attempts a titanic undertaking: to cross the Alps aboard his Blériot monoplane. Aviation was born only seven years earlier, when the Wright brothers conquered worldwide newspapers for having flown three meters above the ground. Géo, instead, wants to challenge the mountains… Those were the years of the Belle Époque, times of faith in progress, sport races, steam engines, the first telephones. A century had begun with plenty of enthusiasm and energy, represented in Géo’s adventure. The tale is told by Giorgio Conte, chansonnier and show-man, who has dedicated a song to Géo. Struck by the story of this young engineer from the upper class, who abandons the comforts of a bourgeois life in favour of the reckless and adventurous one of aviation pioneers. ‘Higher than the clouds’ is a ballad in pictures, where magnificent and unpublished film archives are combined with animation in papier decoupé style, where the tale flourishes from the continuing tension between myth, tale and historical reconstruction.
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