A young italian activist, left to document stories of gastronomic resilience, visits ancient cultures in Latin America to learn how to stop the spread of agricultural destruction. The young traveler will travel lands of dizzying borders, where contemporary civilizations laps forgotten traditional ones, that it imbues itself with places and destinies left on the edge of the “Global society”. The film is supported by Slow Food, Helen Mirren and Taylor Hackford
Director Biography - STEFANO PETRONI
Originally from Puglia in Southern Italy, Stefano Petroni studied filmmaking in New York and the UK, working on a number of independent projects. In 2016, Petroni and his brother Agostino decided to travel to Latin America to spend time living in rural indigenous communities to learn their techniques for preserving agricultural traditions while adapting to a changing world. Their experience is chronicled in Present Past (Memoria Nueva), Petroni’s first feature length film that documents the dying art of traditional agriculture and the efforts of people in communities around the world to save their past.
Heart Wood is a documentary born from Agostino’s thesis. As a final project for the University of Gastronomic Sciences, Agostino decides to follow the gastronomic resilience of three indigenous peoples in Colombia, Mexico and Brazil. Agostino offers me to document this research together with a Dutch (economist) and two Americans (a film-maker and a musician). Thanks to crowdfunding, we buy equipment and airline tickets to leave for Latin America. The peoples who hosted us have given us, in addition to their life stories, a different approach to look at the problems of our times. Climate change, deforestation, loss of identity are no longer a distant object, but tangible effects of globalization. When we returned to Puglia we realized that our trip was not over. We realized that Xylella fastidiosa, a bacterium we didn’t care about before, was destroying the Apulian olive trees. The indigenous communities have taught us to be indigenous to our land, and therefore our journey outwards becomes an internal journey, in our culture, to save the monumental Apulian olive trees.