This spring, one group of college students is embarking on an international adventure, leaving behind the comforts of their lives in the United States to spend five weeks as foreigners studying abroad throughout Italy. While some are seasoned travelers, others have never stepped out of their state lines, yet alone the country. There's Leslie, an undeclared sophomore, who has never traveled alone or abroad and has no idea what to do with her life. While Leslie may be starting up her college career, Ansley is winding it down, completing her final two courses here before starting work in the fall. Matt, a first time world traveler and agnostic, is leaving home and his girlfriend behind, while John, a devout Catholic who struggles with a modern romance, is reconciling his place in a world at odds with his religious beliefs. Together, they will learn to fit into a culture far different from their own, with a strange language, diet, and travel pattern that all of them have barely imagined. ... Written by
Di Passaggio was filmed digitally, using a Canon Vixia HV30, edited on a MacBook Pro with Apple's Final Cut Studio and Adobe After Effects. However, the stop motion animation designed by Art Designer Steven Roberson was done using practical effects, stopping and starting the camera for each frame of hand drawn animation. See more »
Di Passaggio is a special film. It chronicles the journey of a diverse set of individuals as they spend time studying in Italy, and end up learning about themselves at the same time. Even though it is a documentary, and was shot on location in Italy, the film vividly renders each character. The narrative is incredibly strong, and the film is one of the most interesting and engaging documentaries I've seen. The title, Italian for "Of Passage," is very appropriate; by the end of the film you feel as though you have been on a journey along with the students.
Perhaps the film's most valuable element, however, is its serious introspective examination of the tragic events in Director James Kicklighter's past, and the ultimately very constructive ways he moved forward (including making this film). The film's handling of these issues is moving and gracefully done. The dramatic tension which arises from the juxtaposition of the study abroad experience and the life-changing experiences of the director is wonderfully maintained throughout, and moves the film beyond the ordinary into a truly exceptional experience. I highly recommend it as a remarkable cinematic adventure. Director James Kicklighter's reputation as a rising star is well deserved, and I look forward to seeing more of his films to come.
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