Independent, Short and Controversial: The Script Development of San Sabba



From the beginning, the Risiera di San Sabba, the only concentration and extermination camp of the Axis in Italy, had been the central character in the film San Sabba (2016). However, in 2014 the project was denied access to the premises. This chapter explores how and why the initial treatment, featuring interviews with survivors and tour guides conducted in a traditional participatory style, evolved into an experimental script for an essay film questioning the ontological status of memorialisation. Constructed around unseen documents, held in multiple languages (Italian, Slovenian, German and English), the narrative aimed to illustrate the harrowing topic without entering the camp. With the story locked in the relationship between the silenced history of the victims and those who struggled for the persecution of the perpetrators, when late into production some access to the camp was granted, the team was brought back to the drawing board and editing became screenwriting.




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© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Arts University BournemouthPooleUK

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