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Hand Gestures

Francesco Clerici
Il gesto delle mani
Italy 2015 / 77’

Flattening, hammering, modeling, mixing, polishing- working with hands and fire. The result is a sculpture, the bronze dog designed by Velasco Vitali. Established in 1913, the Fonderia Artistica Battaglia in Milan is one of the oldest bronze foundries in Italy, a place where they still use the sculpting technique known as lost-wax casting, which was invented in ancient times. Over the centuries, it has been used in the creation of small, complex forms-such as jewelry-as well as for large monuments. While this method does not require any advanced technology, it is very time-consuming. First, a shape is carved out of a block of wax, and then plaster is poured in. The mold is then dried and baked, during which the wax melts and is replaced by hot metal. Francesco Clerici's documentary shows audiences how this complicated process works, while also telling the story of this art form, recorded in the muscle memory of sculptors, through their movements, as well as how and where the process is passed down from generation to generation.

Ewa Szabłowska

Francesco Clerici

He earned a Master's Degree in Art History and Criticism from the University of Milan. Since 2003 he has taught film language, led filmmaking workshops for children. Francesco is also a writer and the project manager for the artist Velasco Vitali. In 2012 he published his first book, 24 Fotogrammi: storia aneddotica del cinema (24 Frames: the Anecdotal History of Cinema). Hand Gestures, his first feature documentary.


2015 Ręczna robota / Il gesto delle mani / Hand Gestures 

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Cast & Crew

director Francesco Clerici
screenplay Francesco Clerici
cinematography Francesco Clerici
editing Francesco Clerici
music Claudio Gotti
cast Velasco Vitali, Lino De Ponti, Luigi Contino, Mario Conti, Caled Saad, Tommaso Rossi, Simion Marius Costel, Nicaolae Ciortan
producer Velasco Vitali, Francesco Clerici
production Fonderia Artistica Battaglia
sales Francesco Clerici
language Italian
colouration colour