La scuola senza fine
16 mm, black and white film
Production: Adriana Monti and the teachers from the '150 hours'
Operator: Angelo Cordini
Concept and realisation : Adriana Monti
In collaboration with Lea Melandri, Amalia Molinelli, Ada Flaminio, Antonia Daddato, Teresa Paset, Rina Aprile, Micci Toniolo, Paola Mattioli et Maria Martinotti.
After I had been working with a particular group of housewives for a year, we started shooting the film Scuola senza fine (literally, ‘School without end’) almost casually, in 1979. I was able to get equipment free of charge and money to pay for the film was made available. The women had taken the ‘150 Hours’ course and had been awarded the completion of secondary school diploma in 1976.
But they were reluctant to go back to spending their afternoons ironing or playing cards. So first we devised new seminars on literature, the body and the image.
Rediscovering the pleasure of reading and studying was like reliving their adolescence. It was important for them to have a teacher to whom they could tell in writing what they had done and thought, their past history and plans for the future. The teacher of the diploma course was someone who listened to them and made them think: Lea Melandri, who came from the Women’s Movement where she was considered a fine theorist and had been a promoter firstly of the “Gruppo dell’inconscio” (see p.7) and then of the “Sexuality and Writing group”. She was consequently familiar with issues related to the unconscious, to women’s relationships with each other, and to the individual’s relationship with culture and knowledge. She was able to strengthen the women’s expressive potential and transformed the adult education course into a study and research group which was later joined by more teachers and new students.
Watching the project develop was like uncorking a champagne bottle. The women’s writing matured and began to flow and sparkle while Lea, whose book L’infamia originaria was about to be published, did not write anything else for several years. The women students, encouraged first by Lea and the discovery of Freud, then by the other teachers and by science, philosophy, and linguistic analysis (visual, written, and body languages), filled page after page of their writing pads and exercise books ( or in Amalia’s case, loose sheets), with personal reflections on culture, themselves, their families, nature, and feelings.
Extract from website : http://www.universitadelledonne.it/english/scuola%20senza%20fine.htm