Jesus Died for Somebody's Sins (Gesù è morto per i peccati degli altri)

Showing at 4pm on 29 October 2016 (Sat) @ CUHK Yasumoto International Academic Park LT3


In Catania, San Berillo is the neighborhood of whores, where a handful of narrow run-down streets in the heart of the city that have been neglected for over fifty years are today disputed over by conflicting interests. Franchina, Meri, Alessia, Marcella, Santo, Totino, and Wonder are transgenders that have prostituted themselves in San Berillo for decades, but now they risk finding themselves without a roof under which to work and ending up under an overpass along the Catania-Gela highway, instead. “Le belle di San Berillo” tells, by way of candid conversation on those narrow streets, their daily life in and out of the neighborhood. Theirs are universal stories, stories of individuals on the margins of society endowed with an irreverent and pure irony. Behind every laugh there is truth, a truth that urges its audience to reflect on reality. Without shame, the whores of San Berillo speak openly about their activities, seek rights for the profession they practice, and display the intimacy of their families and their solitude in front of the door waiting for clients. Dreams and fears, desolation and happiness, transgression and prayer, jealousy and compassion are some of the varied emotions contained in San Berillo that this documentary seeks to convey to its viewers. 

About the Director*

Maria Arena was born in Catania but lives and works in Milan where she graduated in Philosophy and followed a post graduation in Filmmaking at Milan Civic Polytechnic. As a director, she realised short films (Prima della prima, Ceremony, Deserto Grigio, Io/la religion del mio tempo, Perfection, Viaggiatore Solitario), videoclip (Mario Biondi, Mario Venuti, The Dining Rooms, Peter Sellers and THP), video installation (Camera del sonno, Due o tre cose che so di lei), performance (Promise, Io ho fatto tutto questo/dedicato a Goliarda Sapienza, Democrazia, Del Purgatorio). Adjunct teacher in Digital Video at the Academy of Fine Arts in Catania and Academy of Brera in Milan.  

*From the director's website