I am Venetian and, as many of my fellow citizens, I can say that “I was born on a boat”. Ever since my childhood my father taught me to row and steer a boat that seemed to me a gondola, then when I was a boy I discovered Venetian traditional sailing boats and their characteristic coloured “lugsails”. Sailing my boat I began to explore the islands of the lagoon, a forgotten archipelago consisting of a mix of wild islands and isolated hamlets with coloured houses.
My passion for boats continued even when I grew up, so I obtained a degree discussing a dissertation on the history of navigation and then I opened a tourism business, in which I used my boat to take tourists to discover the most remote and unknown spots of the Venetian lagoon.
Then, wanting to realise my dream and become a film director, I closed my business and enrolled in a film school. Now I work as a film director, but my love for the lagoon is still the same and even today, when I sail on those canals I know by heart, I still feel the same emotion as when I sailed on them for the first time.
For years I felt the need to describe my Venice, a city that is slowly disappearing, choked by an ever-increasing number of tourists, while the number of its inhabitants decreases. This situation is a great sadness for me, above all when I hear my parents as they remember with friends how was the city when they were young: a city full of life and colours with more than 150,000 inhabitants. Nowadays the inhabitants are just over 50,000 and many zones of the city are no longer habitable, because there aren’t the basic activities, such as a supermarket, a hardware store and its roads are literally full of tourists.
In this situation, with every day that passes it becomes increasingly difficult to find the spirit of the traditions and culture that are the soul of this city. The canals and the lagoon are the only places where the true Venetian culture still survives, the last piece of the city that still belongs to Venetians citizens. That’s how the idea of “Venezia Liquida” was born.
So far I talked about my need to show the Venice I love, but this cannot be the only reason to explain why I decided to create the documentary in this way, so focused on water. The reason underlying this choice is my love for the lagoon, a kind of huge city park, where I go as soon as I have time, to relax and forget about work, heat and crowds, an immense space where the blue colour dominates and nourishes my soul.
I often asked myself who can be interested in such a documentary, but if everybody wants to visit Venice at least once in their lives, then my documentary could reach an enormous audience, because it is practically impossible for a tourist to understand the soul of Venice, basically because it hides in its canals and in its lagoon, the last place that still belongs to the city and serves it as a refuge.