VFFOnline: Watching Paolo Head to the (Great) Big North (Il Grande Nord)

6 Feb

Il Grande Nord [Italian Edition]By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Streaming Online
at the Victoria Film Festival
Get your pass here to view beginning Feb 5th, 2021

Note: Available to view for residents in British Columbia

Also available to purchase on DVD on Amazon USA

British Columbia can’t look any more beautiful in the documentary, Big North (Il Grande Nord). This work looks at the life of Paolo Cognetti, an Italian and award winning author, on a pilgrimage through this province, the Yukon and Alaska as he explores the grandiose nature of the region, himself and what it all means. 

He’s following in the footsteps of those authors he admires–Jack London, Ernest Hemingway and many others–during his trek, and in what we all see are beautiful shots of the terrain with drone cameras, a cameraman or two, and thankfully no bear encounters! The goal is to have the same experience as they had, and it’ll no doubt translate into his next novel, when he’s ready to write it!

The beauty is with both stories. One is more visual than fully narrative driven and the other is more of a meditation on being. Because this piece is essentially a travel diary, there’s no plot. You’re just watching two individuals document their journey and it has some moments where it’s simply meh. At least the music is uplifting.

The only real conflict here is in how long will it take for Cognetti and his friend to make it to Alaska’s Stampede trail.

The only sad part of watching this film is that we can’t see the true majesty of the terrain as it was intended-on the big screen. Witnessing the glacial landscapes from a small screen perspective really doesn’t do this work justice.

3 Stars out of 5

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