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Fri, May 22



The Genius of a Place" with Film Director Sarah Marder

"Happy Hour Mixer (AICR + Free Exchange): Join us to mingle and engage within the International community on the future of Italy’s “genius loci”

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The Genius of a Place" with Film Director Sarah Marder
The Genius of a Place" with Film Director Sarah Marder

Time & Location

May 22, 2020, 6:30 PM – 7:45 PM


About the event

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 885 1432 4520 Password: 364580

Synopsis of The Genius of a Place:  WATCH THE FILM (in English and Italian)  

Few aspects of our lives are as all-encompassing and vital to our well-being as the health of our surroundings. Ancient Romans, aware of this profound interrelation between man and place, used the term genius loci to pay homage to the ineffable characteristics, strengths and vulnerabilities of a given spot.  

The Genius of a Place is filmed in Cortona, one of those Italian towns where sensitivity for the land has been handed down from one generation to another for thousands of years. The population had a deep knowledge of the symbiotic relationship between themselves and their place. But starting with the post WWII era, the forces of globalization began to sever this respectful relationship. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Italian countrysides emptied as many people left the fields to seek work and a new way of life in the city. This left the area semi-abandoned demographically and weakened economically.

 Over the last fifteen years, though, Cortona has benefitted from a touristic boom. Along with a revived economy have come too many cars, too much trash and too many demands on the limited water supply. Most stores have begun to cater to the tastes of tourists and no longer satisfy residents’ daily needs. A decline in quality of life combined with high real estate prices have tempted many locals to sell and move away. Moreover young people no longer want to farm the land.

Today, in the face of shifting values and tumultuous change, residents wonder how they can possibly safeguard what was so lovingly bequeathed to them by their ancestors. In a poignant, thought-provoking and uplifting story filmed over a period of five years, the people of Cortona reawaken our instinctive connection to our life-sustaining environs and inspire us to discover and protect the “genius” of our own little corner of the world, wherever that may be.

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