Craco, coming alive on film

Craco is a ghost town where the past sixty years have only come alive on the sets of the directors who chose this old village in Basilicata as their filming location.

In 1979, Francesco Rosi filmed here part of his “Christ stopped at Eboli”, the cinematic version of Carlo Levi’s literary masterpiece. Rosi wanted to capture the elements of the memoir’s “ideal geography”, and to visualize the abandonment of the area described in the novel. Craco’s ruins seemed like a perfect translation of the pages in which an anti-fascist writer arrives in the town where he is to spend his exile, only to find it is all in mourning.

Mel Gibson deemed Craco the perfect place for the scene in which Judas commits suicide – as the devil looks on – in his 2004 “The Passion of the Christ”.

Craco was abandoned by its population in 1963, after a vast landslide likely caused by the public works meant to bring some infrastructures to the area.

Hence the town has forgotten its important past – it was a strategic military location in the time of Frederick II – and now is a silent, mysterious, fascinating place, alternating narrow houses and steep alleys.

A motionless town, where time rolls again only after the clapperboard snaps.

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January 9, 2014

Craco, coming alive on film

Craco (Mt)