Director Andreas Pichler. One of the world’s great cultural treasures—Venice—has for years been sinking into its soggy foundations, “a situation so critical with respect to the sea that continuous monitoring is of paramount importance," says University of Padua engineer Pietro Teatini. In recent times, one of the main contributors to the city’s dilemma has been its colossal tourism, a giant revenue-generating industry spurred on by corporate greed. Long-time residents and shop owners, who for generations have endowed the city with its distinctive character, are disappearing in droves—Venice now has less than half the full-time population it had twenty years ago. According to one study, there will be no more native Venetians by 2030, as shorter-term visitors continue to push infrastructure to the limit. Andreas Pichler’s empathetic documentary is clearly on the side of the locals as they deal with indifferent officials, uninformed day-tourists, and the devastating breakdown of their way of life. 2013, Italy, 82 mins.
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