A Tale of the Hills takes place into a land called Roero, in the northwestern part of Italy known as Langhe area.
Among these people a young man called Matteo Correggia raised in the ’90 to the international attention as an extraordinary talented winemaker.
He had a great dream, but only a few years to make it become true.
In 2001 what it is still remembered as the most tragic accident ever occurred in this area, took his life away.
This is the story of Matteo's journey and what happened to all these people and in the 10 years following his departure.
It is told by his best friends, Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini, chef Renato Dominici, and famous winemakers like Giorgio Rivetti, Roberto Voerzio and Elio Altare. And it is told by Matteo's mother, Severina, and Matteo's wife, Ornella, who was only 32 when her husband died.
And it is a story about wine, that flows like a river through a huge variety of genre evocations, and for each turn, a single aspect of wine is revealed: wine as convivial happiness ‐ wine as sweat and labor, wine as the key to the welfare of a region, wine as nectar that makes people dancing and singing, wine as the result of the equation between man, nature and culture, wine as philosophy, wine as a religious symbol, wine as blood, wine as the link between the dead and the living, wine as nostalgia, wine as memory of the sea.
A Tale of the Hills breaks from the constraints of the realist documentary, in search of an impressionist form between poetry and painting. The culmination of over 10 years of work, with such low budget to the point of having to do everything himself, first time writer - producer - director Alessandro Avataneo wanted to blend filmmaking and winemaking theory to reach a new form of storytelling experience.
A film made with the same elements of wine, created not to forget - and perhaps to heal - a collective tragedy, through the flow of images and memories of an entire community, and through a slow pace which has the solemn taste of a legendary vintage.
Song: "Oh mountains, of my Piedmont, you kiss my city on the forehead... Mountains of my country, you wink to Paradise..."
Renato Dominici: After a time, I would say long enough, of a bewildering, painful mutilation, because of the absence of a dear dear person, now becomes pleasantly beautiful, to tell a legend full of great meaning.
Matteo was a fatuous fire, which went beyond the hills of Roero.
Elio Altare: He was... he was a big dreamer, he dreamed, like all great men dream. But he had the ability to realize the dreams.
Carlo Petrini: What is charming, in the genesis of this leader, is his very simple attitude, not arrogant, indeed, very discreet
Severina Correggia (mother): He was happy in himself. Working, he was happy. The success, plenty of people coming here...
Renato: He devoted his time to create symbols, this mosaic which must have led to a name: Roero.
Enzo Zappalà (astronomer): ...and the origin of the Roero hills is through a cascade of twenty kilometers. ...the Universe, is the most chaotic and the most rigid and perfect thing you can imagine.
Rivetti: Making wine today involves a study, a degree in philosophy (chuckles) Sure. Sure.
Altare: When I drink, I want to drink well. And Mattheo has always given me great emotions. To everybody.
Petrini: I wish we were aware of a fact, we are talking about very little: that this kind of death in our countryside is still widespread.
Luca (the apprentice): I hear this strange sound and turn myself immediately, and I see a cloud of dust, and Mattheo coming towards me, and he ran all bent forward in a completely decomposed way.
And he only said: Help me.
In fact when I opened the gate, he fell upon me.
I remember only that Matteo was trying to open the gate, but could not, because he could not see it, because his face was completely covered with blood.
Ornella: He has always had this sense of guilt towards his father's death. Because he was present. He had this sheet in the car, the sheet they used to cover the father. And every time he changed car, this sheet was following into the next the car.
His father died young. He, even younger.
The first time I dreamed about him it was very significant. He was on the phone and just pass me the phone saying, it's for you.
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