After years and years of oblivion, brightened by a smattering of often superb initiatives, rigorously local, however, there is renewed discussion about putting film on the curriculum at our schools. The bill for a new law on cinema also broadly outlines a plan to institute classes on visual arts education in the school system.
The impression we get is twofold. On one hand, this is surely an unprecedented occasion to make up for lost time in our country, one of the least film-literate in Europe, despite its film heritage. On the other, precisely because Italy has lost so much time in this area, it's clear that the teaching of film in our schools needs to be thought out very carefully: how to teach such a rich and at the same time elusive subject, such an apparently natural part of our daily experience that to all intents and purposes it's a fact of life?
How, then, do you teach film to today's digital natives? How do you make the history of film, its different forms and styles, the films themselves, the nuts and bolts and the aesthetics, relevant to a generation born into the medium, with the highest audiovisual consumption in recorded history?
Six years on, after working with the schools in the province of Rome then all of Lazio - taking the pilot project Cinema & Storia / 100 + 1: A hundred films and one country, Italy, into classrooms and experiencing firsthand both the overwhelming enthusiasm and the risks inherent in such an endeavor for six long years we know there's a lot left to do. The time is ripe, we feel for the entire film community to put their heads together and think hard about goals, programs and methods for injecting the magic of film into the school curriculum.