festivals & awards:
Crotone, a small town in southern Italy with a population of about 70,000. Every December 13th, against
the silent backdrop of the sky and the sea, groups of boys honor the tradition of the Santa Lucia fires
by building and burning majestic wooden pyramids. According to popular legend, Saint Lucia was blind,
depicted in paintings with a lost gaze and holding a silver dish with her eyes on it. Therefore, the ritual
in the town is not just a banal tradition, but aims to restore light (lux) to Saint Lucia on her day
The story is driven by the group of boys from the Fondo Gesù neighborhood who, in their daily lives, roam the streets of the city in search of wood, grappling with their personal family problems. At the age of 15, these boys find themselves already living without their fathers and are forced to be husbands, feeling the insurmountable weight of lost adolescence. Some have fathers in prison, some have never known them, and some will lose them soon.
The ritual of the Santa Lucia fires unites them as brothers in pursuit of a single goal: to create the tallest and most imposing structure in the city. The majestic burning pyramid helps them rediscover, in addition to lost youth, also the "lux" in their dark lives.