'Ai Poppi,' short documentary on eccentric man's DIY amusement park in an Italian forest


A bit of background: Fabrica was founded about 10 years ago (I think) by photographer Oliviero Toscani with funding by the Benetton brothers (one of the very few enlightened industrialists in the country, they’ve spent billions to improve their native region of Veneto).

They’re based in Treviso (again, Veneto), and the guy in the video has a clear accent from that area. Veneto is (was) rife with very small manufacturing companies (they went through a sort of boom in the '70s/'80s, when a cheap Lira and the European single market made local exports very competitive), him just walking into one and being given free roam is absolutely plausible. Veneto is probably the Italian region with the strongest belief in the “American Dream” way of life, that if you work hard and pray hard you’ll be successful, because before that late boom (coming when the rest of the country was already stuttering) they were literally living in swamps. And like good capitalists, now that the going is tough, most of them have relocated production lines to Eastern Europe and China… but I digress.

This said, don’t show this to too many Italian friends: local authorities could get ideas and close it down on safety grounds or something, unless he greases the right hands… (ah shit, too late - a national newspaper picked it up).

Luiz - What a beautiful portrait. I was mesmerized beginning to end.

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