One Point Two (Uno virgola due)

Italy, video (beta) 2005, 52’

In her documentary Uno virgola due / One Point Two, Silvia Ferreri deals with what at first seems a somewhat overdone, and maybe even hackneyed issue of the drastic decrease in the birth rate in modern societies. Such an issue, one would imagine, would be soberly addressed by austere politicians in the course of their official duties – rather than by a young and engaged director known for her standpoints against the stiff traditions of the establishment. But Miss Ferreri dispels any such misgivings at the very beginning of this video, when the camera glides over a series of old photographs, and the narrative explains that the film was inspired by thoughts of family – more specifically four generations of women, and four different sets of social norms that defined their lives. Thus, in addition to the activist dimension, the film instantly gains what is maybe a more significant and intimate aspect, which – in retrospect – serves to sharpen the prevailing political sting. It is exactly this which gives the work even more credibility, as well as a notion of authenticity and urgency that any number of salon or round table discussions on social issues will most often fail to achieve.  

Another aspect - one that clears Ferreri’s work of any second thoughts - is the very milieu of this documentary; namely: its being set in proverbially machismo Italy, which despite statutory regulations addressing the issues of rights and equality, women are still primarily considered as ‘mother material’ –- and are treated as such – while at the same time they are asked to smoothly adapt to the ever-faster commercial beat of everyday life. By way of interviews with young mothers, girls who aspire to become same, as well as women who missed their chance, Ferreri systematically dissects the rotten tentacles of tradition that slashed Italian birth rates from 4.6 babies per woman to today's average of 1.2. It goes without saying that this film does not advocate any utilitarian nationalist thesis of social utility and self-fulfilment attained by way of having as many children as possible, but rather in a Fukuyama-style illustrates the consequences of a biological and technological revolution, and leaves it to the audience to deal with the alarming findings.

The film saves the best twist to the end, and resolutely reveals its true nature as a family chronicle and personal diary. In his 1986 video essay Soft and Hard, (A Soft Conversation between Two Friends on a Hard Subject), co-directed by Anne-Marie Miéville and Jean-Luc Godard, the old cineast suddenly turns the camera onto himself, freezes the pictures and mumbles: ˝Some people make children. I make images. Does this make me any less worthy?˝ This sentence completely shifts the audiovisual policy discussion – which is the theme of the essay – from one that considers lucid objective analysis to one of subjective experience, and, more specifically, experience which might not be appreciated by everyone, but is nevertheless inarguable. The last scene of One Point Two is almost identical; Silvia Ferreri - through her own image frozen in a photograph - whispers that at her age her grandmother had four, her mother three and her sister two children, whereas she made a film.
Jurij Meden

Organisation: City of Women
In collaboration with: Kinodvor
With the support of: Istituto Italiano di Cultura


Date and time of event: 
Oct 08th 19:00
Place of event: