La malattia del ferro (The disease of iron), Yuri Ancarani’s trilogy of short films, are currently on view at the Hammer Museum. Each film addresses the daily tasks of a specialized profession: marble miners, deep sea divers, and surgeons. Each occupation involves intense focus and isolation from the external world, and each worker adopts a method of communication specific to his trade that only his peers can understand.
Ancarani’s keen eye leaves out little, so the viewer is struck by the films’ stunning realism. Every detail comes in clear focus, illuminating the unseen beauty of deep-sea diving pods and Carrera quarries. Even the soft lighting and gleaming instruments of an operating room look like a spaceship through Ancarani’s artful framing.
Though sometimes slow and plodding, the films are visually intoxicating, and communicate a sense of the tremendous patience required in occupying a highly skilled profession where small details could mean the difference between life and death.