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The Valley of the Jato

2013 DOK Leipzig, International Programme Documentary Film
Italy, UK | 2012 | 67 min. | Italian | English subtitles | German Premiere
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The Valley of the Jato | La Valle dello Jato

You have to do everything yourself as a local journalist and patron: talk to the people in the factories and on the streets, research names, write commentaries, hop on the “News Chair” to read the (two-hour!) news, snub the staff, take samples of the polluted river for analysis, report the 105th birthday of a local, repair the channel’s transmitter mast with a small screwdriver, keep your wife happy with a kiss and the whole operation going. The lean, moustached, and hectic chain-smoker Pino Maniaci is an institution in Partinico, a town in the Sicilian province of Palermo. He and his whole family run the local TV channel, waging an embittered war of ruthless exposure against the Mafia, who frequently strike back just as ruthlessly. All the hopes of the long-suffering population rest on him. But the law to digitise television is threatening to bring the small channel to its financial knees …
Caterina Monzani and Sergio Vega Borrego tell this tale of a modern-day Don Quixote fighting against the windmills of corruption and capitalism in the turbulent style of the Italian comedy. Above all, they show that the disappearance of independent local journalism is an irrecoverable loss for democracy.

Grit Lemke
Original Title: La Valle dello Jato
Country: Italy, UK
Year: 2012
Language: Italian
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 67 min.
Format: HDcam
Color: Colour
Director: Caterina Monzani, Sergio Vega Borrego
Producer: Caterina Monzani, Sergio Vega Borrego
Cinematographer: Sergio Vega Borrego
Editor: Sergio Vega Borrego
Sound: Zhe Wu
Music: Roger Goula
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The texts to the Documentary Competition films and the International Programme films were written by the members of the selection committee. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.