Impressions of Torino

by Carrie LeZotte



When I went looking to make a film about the future of Detroit, I never imagined that I would find myself in Italy.  The story of Torino’s turnaround, from automotive center of Europe to a cultural mecca for history and contemporary art, was inspirational for me in its text form in Reimagining Detroit.  I wasn’t really prepared for how being there made me look at how we embrace our own arts and culture.

Director of photography Lon Stratton and I flew into Torino and took a jet-lagged taxi ride from the airport into the historical center, walking distance from the Mole, which houses the national cinema museum.  What was this graffiti on the buildings?  This didn’t look like Rome.  In one of the pictures attached to this message, you can see the walls of what used to be the Royal Palace, tagged with graffiti – as was the university we went to in order to get a terrific vantage point for shooting La Spina…graffiti you wouldn’t see (at least for long) at Michigan State.  So, while I know many post-industrial cities share the same challenges, seeing graffiti on the Royal Palace made me think about Detroit’s infamous train station.

I really hate those images as being the most iconic of our city.  I’m sure it’s because I’ve been thinking that it represents our failure, instead of a symbol of our success.  Who else was able to build such an amazing structure?  So Tornio got me thinking about it being like a palace.  For us, the scab is only a few decades old, but when it’s a scar from centuries ago…it a mark of experience that has healed.

John, Ann and I all agreed that going to Europe would set this film apart from the rest.  It’s a complex, international story,  our supporters, are the ambassadors.

Please take a minute and make a pledge for a dvd, premiere ticket, or one of the books that inspired the project.  We have just this last week to reach our goal.  Here’s the link to share:

The video is a ride along La Spina, which now connects, instead of separates, the industrial and residential parts of Torino.

Valentino Castellani drives La Spina from One of Us Films on Vimeo.

The exterior cafe photo is where you want to go to enjoy a bicerin, an amazing espresso and chocolate beverage born in Torino, and one of the delights of the trip.  I can’t wait to show more in the movie!