The Poetry of Mining Beautiful White Italian Marble Captured in a Short Film

Did any­one ever tru­ly want to be a coal min­er? The work was dirty, dan­ger­ous, and poor­ly com­pen­sat­ed, the work­ers exploit­ed and their unions blocked by cal­low employ­ers.

Coal pro­duc­tion is in a state of ter­mi­nal decline, but the old phrase “it’s not min­ing coal” endures.

How­ev­er hard your job may be, it’s not coal min­ing.

It’s prob­a­bly not con­tem­po­rary mar­ble min­ing either. This may strike you as a pity, after view­ing excerpts from Il Capo, film­mak­er Yuri Ancar­ani’s dreamy 15-minute doc­u­men­tary, set in the Bet­togli quar­ry in Tus­cany.

As cap­tured above, the shirt­less quar­ry boss’s silent instruc­tions to work­ers pry­ing enor­mous slabs of mar­ble from the bar­ren white land­scape with indus­tri­al exca­va­tors are unbe­liev­ably lyri­cal.

Con­sid­er your­self lucky if your job is even a frac­tion as poet­ic.

Mar­ble min­ing seems as though it might also be a secret to stay­ing fit—and tan—well into mid­dle age.

I do won­der if van­i­ty caused our mid­dle aged hero to doff his noise-can­cel­ing head­phones while the cam­era rolled. These mas­sive slabs do not go down light­ly, thus the neces­si­ty of non-ver­bal com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

The film­mak­er states that he was with the del­i­ca­cy of his subject’s “light, pre­cise and deter­mined” move­ments. The quar­ry crew might not find their boss’ phys­i­cal­i­ty rem­i­nis­cent of a con­duc­tor guid­ing an orches­tra through a par­tic­u­lar­ly sen­si­tive move­ment, but those who caught the film at one of the many gal­leries, fes­ti­vals, and muse­ums where it has screened report­ed­ly do.

Clear­ly, Ancar­ani has an attrac­tion to work tran­spir­ing in unusu­al land­scapes. Il Capo is a part of his Mal­a­dy of Iron tril­o­gy, which also doc­u­ments time spent with divers oper­at­ing from a sub­ma­rine deep below the ocean’s sur­face and a sur­gi­cal robot whose move­ments inside the human body are con­trolled via joy­stick.

via Now­ness

Relat­ed Con­tent:

How the Egypt­ian Pyra­mids Were Built: A New The­o­ry in 3D Ani­ma­tion

The Mak­ing of a Stein­way Grand Piano, From Start to Fin­ish

Elec­tric Gui­tars Made from the Detri­tus of Detroit

- Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine.  Her lat­est script, Fawn­book, is avail­able in a dig­i­tal edi­tion from Indie The­ater Now.  Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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