For a country built so much on recent immigration, there are remarkably few stories of the immigrant experience told in Australia, especially those from those who came here after the Second World War. I know, I've looked. As a second generation Australian myself I've always wanted to find stories that talked about what it was like for migrants to settle in Australia during that time, what they had to deal with, the businesses they started, traditions they carried on and evolved, and ultimately how their communities helped change the face of the wider nation.
The emergence of Lygon Street: Si parla Italiano as one of the popular documentaries screening at the upcoming Melbourne International Film Festival proves there are plenty more who want to see these sorts of stories. The doc has already sold out all of its sessions at the festival, and was one of the first films to do so, which bodes well for a theatrical release.
Narrated by Anthony LaPaglia and co-directed by Shannon Swan and Angelo Pricolo, Lygon Street is ostensibly the story of a Melbourne street which still hums as a hub of Italian culture, but more broadly tells the story of a whole generation of Italian immigrants who arrived in the 1950s and jumped into a new culture with both feet, changing it in the process. Watch the trailer below.
And in case you want to hear more from the filmmakers themselves, Swan will also be taking part in a panel discussion during the festival. See this link for more information
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