Programmed by Claudia Maci
Many neighborhoods in Naples still celebrate the ritual of the bonfires of Saint Anthony in mid January. Kids start collecting firewood after New Year’s, sometimes venturing far from home to look for it. Every group stashes their wood in a different hiding place, “the secret”, so they can protect it from being raided by other neighboring groups.
In the heart of Naples’ Quartieri Spagnoli lies a secret in a mysterious hideout filled with life and fiercely guarded by a gang of boisterous children. The camera of the two street artists Cyop&Kaf is set at child-height so that we can join the protagonists in their daring adventures in search of abandoned trees that they laboriously drag through the city’s streets. With an immersive, non-judgmental gaze, we explore the microcosm of Naples’ poorer districts and discover a surrealist dimension to the childhood of irreverent gangs of kids, a sense of loyalty to the group, reckless scooter trips and risky night-time pursuits through the alleys to defend the trees that have been “captured” legally or illegally. The tension of the climax gives meaning to this world that seems devoid of logic – until they reappropriate urban space.
Managing Director of Festival dei Popoli