Alvaro Bizzarri

As Morena La Barba stressed in the reviewDécadrages (14, 2009, p. 81), “Alvaro Bizzarri’s films were not born in television studios, nor in production companies, nor in film schools. Bizzarri was a blacksmith… His films are born among the workers of the Italian Free Colonies, in Bienne, Switzerland. He films the life and work experiences of his compatriots as a self-taught filmmaker, although he never reduces his film essays to the usual style of documentaries.

For films like Pagine di vita dell’emigrazione (Chapters in the Emigrant’s Life), the protagonists’ own words are restaged and performed by the speakers themselves. This reenactment approach allows the filmmaker to show very personal moments which are usually hidden from view, saying goodbye to the family, moments of despondency, or the fear of being sent back to the home country.

Il rovescio della medaglia (The Other Side of the Coin), he parodies those ads that sing the praises of the tourist and economic wonders of Switzerland, to better confront the housing conditions of guest workers, as well as the schemes the heads of Swiss companies come up with to skimp and make money on the backs of their employees.