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January 20–26, 2017

Chicago Premiere

Lost and Beautiful
(Bella e perduta)

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Film still: Lost and Beautiful Film still: Lost and Beautiful
Jury Award
Locarno Intl
Film Fest
Critics' Pick "A simple, touching tale that seems to contain a whole cosmos of meaning"
  —New York Times
"It's the curious virtue of this singularly original film that Lost and Beautiful manages to tell a truth that's not just poetic, but political too, not just animal, but profoundly human"
  —Film Comment
"With hints of both Disney and the Sensory Ethnography Lab, Lost and Beautiful is a highly unusual, assertive, and ultimately moving work"
  —Cinema Scope

Pietro Marcello continues his intrepid work along the borderline of fiction and documentary with this beautiful and beguiling film, by turns neorealist and fabulist, worthy of Pasolini in its matter-of-fact lyricism and political conviction. It begins with the true story of the "Angel of Carditello," one Tomasso Cestrone, a shepherd who has taken it upon himself to tend to an abandoned Bourbon castle in the heart of Campania, "the land of fires," as well as to rescue male buffalos from their predestined demise, despite government apathy and threats from the Mafia. However, Tommaso passed away of a heart attack in the course of shooting, and Marcello's bold and generous response is to grant his subject's dying wish: a masked Pulcinella is summoned from the afterlife to wander through present-day Campania in search of a new home for a young buffalo, called Sarchiapone, who also narrates the film.

An Au hasard Balthazar for our time, Lost and Beautiful is a poetic documentary, a dream, and a plangent, contemporary fairytale about man and nature, as well an enormously moving work of political cine-poetry.

Directed by Pietro Marcello, Italy/France, 2015, 87 mins. In Italian with English subtitles.


  • Fri., Jan. 20 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., Jan. 21 at 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., Jan. 22 at 5 & 7 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Jan. 23–26 at 7 & 9 pm
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$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation