The Spirit of Place: Simone Rapisarda Casanova

Co-presented with the School for the Contemporary Arts – Simon Fraser University

DIRECTOR IN ATTENDANCE! A nomadic film artist whose work evades easy classification, Italian-Canadian director (and SFU instructor) Simone Rapisarda Casanova has received international plaudits for his poetic and principled brand of “meta-documentary.” His trio of features — each shot in a different country, each concerned with a culture on the edge of erasure, along with the ethics of documenting it — deftly blend (and blur) narrative, non-fiction, ethnographic, and avant-garde approaches in an attempt to reveal what Rapisarda Casanova calls the “spirit of place,” a soul that remembers what occurred there. His first film, the Cuban-set El árbol de las fresas (2011), was named one of the Best Undistributed Films of 2012 by Film Comment; its much-admired follow-up, La creazione di significato (2014), garnered Rapisarda Casanova the prestigious Best Emerging Director prize at Locarno.

We are honoured to premiere Rapisarda Casanova’s new film Zanj Hegel la (2018), shot in Haiti and co-written with its cast and crew, alongside screenings of his acclaimed previous features.


With support from the Centre for Imaginative Ethnography and the Institute for Performance Studies - Simon Fraser University


Click for film notes + showtimes

Recent Showings

The debut feature of Rapisarda Casanova is an ethnographic documentary uniquely aware of its own epistemological limitations.
CANADIAN PREMIERE! Set and shot in Haiti, Rapisarda Casanova's latest is another beguiling experiment in inside-out ethnography.
Rapisarda Casanova’s universally acclaimed sophomore feature is part treatise on the spectre of history, part portrait of a vanishing way of life.