DEVOTI
TUTTI

A Film by Bernadette Wegenstein

In post-production

Each year in the Italian city of Catania, on the east coast of Sicily, nearly a million people gather in the world’s third-largest Catholic celebration to pay homage to the city’s patron, Saint Agatha. Devoti Tutti looks at this celebration and the rituals that are involved in the cult of the saint through the eyes of those raised there, who are devoted to her spirit.

Devoti Tutti takes on the 2000-year old myth of Saint Agatha, telling the story of violence she endured in her own voice. It melds documentary with animation against the backdrop of present-day Catania, to weave a tale about finding the strength to set oneself free.

Interview with Atlas Obscura about Saint Agatha, her feast and cake here.

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We Are All Devoted...

According to the Christian canon, Agatha’s “No” led Quinziano to imprison her for her disbelief in the polytheistic Roman Gods. She endured cruel torture and interrogation. Still, Agatha did not change her mind. During her trial, she provoked the Roman officials until they threatened to kill her by breast amputation. During the torture, Agatha said, “I feel joy in these pains.”

At the core of the film is a relationship between three women: Berna the filmmaker, reliving the story of an Austrian mother who instilled in her a love and belief in Saints; Angela, an impoverished mother of three and a survivor of sexual abuse; and Agatha, the patron saint of Catania who was tortured and murdered by Quinziano, the powerful man whose sexual demands she dared to refuse. By juxtaposing Agatha's mythical story with the lives of real abuse survivors, Devoti Tutti shows how a community's reverence masks contemporary misogyny, and the consequences that abuse has on the minds and bodies of women living almost two thousand years later.

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Production Team

BERNADETTE WEGENSTEIN

Writer, Director

 

Austrian-born Bernadette Wegenstein is a Research Professor at the Johns Hopkins University, where she directs the Center for Advanced Media Studies at. She produced the documentary Made Over in America (Icarusfilms, 2007), exploring the culture of extreme makeover shows. She is currently in pre-production with a documentary on the history and culture of breast cancer.

ELIZABETH KARR

Producer

 

I'm an actor turned filmmaker. You can watch my first feature film as aproducer Radio Free Albemuth streaming on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon or buy the DVD (Producers like that!).  RFA is an adaptation of a novel by Philip K. Dick, directed by John Alan Simon. Got a great review in Variety and screened at Lincoln Center Indie Night Series before theatrical release summer 2014.

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THOMAS BOGNER

Producer

 

Born 1958 in Vienna. Graduated from military secondary school in Wiener Neustadt.

Started 1978 as an electrician and dolly driver for film and television, and later worked as freelance production assistant, assistant director, location manager and production manager.

From 1992 on producer of COMTEL Werbefilm in Vienna.