Documentary Film with the Director: The Innocents of Florence

November 30, 2019 @ 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm
The film The Innocents of Florence, directed by David Battistella, tells the story of art restorers in Florence, Italy who begin in 2013 work on ‘Madonna of the Innocents,’ a 600 year old painting. Soon, they uncover the story of the city’s forgotten children, and the women who saved them.
It’s 1410 and Florence has a huge social problem – babies are being abandoned and dying at an alarming rate. City philanthropists organize and build a hospice for babies to assist young mothers to ease the problem and commission a painting to celebrate the opening of the building in 1446. In 2013, the same painting hangs in a museum in the original building and two women, an American and an Italian, are tasked with restoring it.
Jane Fortune and Elizabeth Wicks spearheaded the conservation of ‘Madonna of the Innocents’ when they became curious about the young Madonna depicted in the work. They were particularly intrigued by her facial expression. It seemed she was hiding a secret. The ‘hunch’ these women had that day in the museum led to what turned out to be the ‘greatest discovery of my career,’ says Wicks, who, with fellow conservator Nicoletta Fontani, spent close to 30 months preparing the work.
The film explores art, motherhood, Florentine humanism and how a progressive-thinking Renaissance society created one of the first Children’s hospitals in the world and Battistella tells this story through the restoration of a painting.
Battistella will be present to introduce the film and lead a Q&A after.
Free admission.
Unrated. 93 Min.