Lost and Beautiful
Please log in to watch films (restrictions may apply)
  1. Extra

    Lost and Beautiful

    Bella e perduta

    Directed by



    87 min

    • Italian


    Karlovy Vary IFF

    The foolish servant Pulcinella is sent from the depths of Mt. Vesuvius to present-day Campania to honor the last wishes of the poor shepherd Tommaso: his mission is to save a young buffalo called Sarchiapone. Pulcinella finds the animal at the former royal palace of Carditello, where Tommaso had looked after the ruined Bourbon estate in the heart of the Land of Fires. He takes the buffalo off to the north and the two servants, man and beast, travel through a beautiful and lost Italy, but their long journey’s end does not bring what they were hoping for.


    • Special Mention Ecumenical Prize - FF Locarno
    • Best Film - La Roche-sur-Yon IFF
    • Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award - Göteborg FF
    • Love & Change Award - !f Istanbul
    • Special Mention (International Competition) - FICUNAM
    • Special Mention (CineVision Award) - Filmfest München



    Tommaso Cestrone
    Sergio Vitolo
    Gesuino Pittalis
    Maurizio Braucci
    Pietro Marcello
    Pietro Marcello
    Salvatore Landi
    Sara Fgaier

    Director's Statement

    I learnt to look at Italy contemplating its landscape from trains, rediscovering time after time its beauty and its ruin. I have often thought about making an itinerant film that would cross the provinces to describe Italy: beautiful, yes, but lost. Leopardi described it as a woman crying with her head in her hands due to the burden of history, the atavistic evil of being too beautiful.

    When I chanced upon the Royal Palace of Carditello and the fairy tale—because it really is a fairy tale—of Tommaso, the ‘Angel of Carditello’, a shepherd who sacrificed everything to dedicate many years of his life to look after this abandoned artistic asset, I saw a powerful metaphor for what I felt compelled to describe. Following the premature and sudden death of Tommaso, Bella e perduta—initially conceived as a ‘journey through Italy’ intended to touch upon other regions—became a different film, marrying fairy tale and documentary, dream and reality.

    Carditello is the symbol of a lost beauty and the struggle of an individual, an orphan who refuses to surrender to a rotten mechanism of destruction and decay. And at the same time this story, deeply rooted in our country’s history, examines a subject which has never been so universal: the relationship between man and nature.



    A delicate contemporary fairy tale.

    Giovanni Melogli, Cineuropa

    Highly unique amongst his work to date.

    Jordan Cronk, Keyframe

    Swims against the current of mainstream cinema.

    Jaimey Fisher, Senses Of Cinema

    It’s a film you feel more than think about, and its power comes from the way the camera traces natural and bovine beauty to evoke a certain melancholic cynicism.

    Whitney Mallett, Filmmaker

    Pietro Marcello’s films liberally fuse a range of vérité and metaphysical elements to contemplate the evanescence of pre-modernized and rural culture.

    Blake Williams, Cinema Scope

    Weaves together stirring documentary and archival footage, art-historical references and beguiling fiction.

    Andréa Picard, Toronto IFF

    Pietro Marcello

    Pietro Marcello


    I tried to depict the present around me, those remnants that come from a past world, while the nostalgia of the 20th century is represented by archive footage, films by both professionals and amateurs, Genoans who go back many generations. My perspective on the present is that of a foreigner talking about what he sees from the window, the perspective on the past and on History is represented by the Genoans who silently recounted it through a camera lens.

    He made his directorial debut in 2003 with the shorts CARTA and SCAMPIA. The following year, IL CANTIERE won at the Festival Libero Bizzarri. In 2005, LA BARACCA won the Audience Prize at Videopolis. CROSSING THE LINE was shown at the Venice Film Festival in 2007, in the Orizzonti section; it won the Pasinetti Award and a Special Mention Doc/it. THE MOUTH OF THE WOLF (2009) won at the Turin Film Festival and, in 2010, the Forum and Teddy Bear awards for Best Documentary at the Berlin Film Festival, a David di Donatello and a Nastro d'Argento, Internantional Jury Prize - Cinéma du Réel, at the Buenos Aires Film Festival. In 2011 he made PELESJAN'S SILENCE, presented at Venice as a special event. With the independent production company "Avventurosa", set up as part of the project for THE MOUTH OF THE WOLF, he made LOST AND BEAUTIFUL, that won the Special Mention of the Ecumenical Prize and the Junior Jury Award at FF Locarno in 2015.

    Selected Filmography