20 February 1979


Famiglia Fantin
Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi & Francesca D'Alessandro

The Fantins have always been passionate about travel and exploration. This journey to the Sahara that lasted months between November 1978 and 20 February 1979 is filmed by Alessandro, the nephew of Mario, the mountaineer and filmmaker who filmed the famous K2 expedition in 1954 and author of the book Uomini e montagne del Sahara (1970). From uncle to nephew, the passion is intact. In this extract from the film, we are in Algeria, in Béni Abbès, the pearl of the desert, a town of medieval origins, surrounded by the Sahara. The small group of people filmed, perhaps tourists encountered on site, are in search of fossils. The images of night and dawn in the desert, inescapable attractions for the western gaze, may feed that African sickness, 'nostalgia for the places, colours, landscape and people of Africa, typical of those who have lived there for a certain period', a sentiment at least ambiguous but so defined by the dictionary.