Film ID:
YFA 5667

SOUTH TO RAGUSA

1965

Visitor Tabs

Description

Travel film covering the Adriatic coastline between Venice in Italy and Dubrovnik in former Yugoslavia, now Croatia.

Title – South to Ragusa

Title – Produced by J Eric Hall

The film begins with an illustrated map of Venice, showing the city’s key landmarks and waterways, followed by film taken from on board a moving boat on one of the canals. A bride and groom in their wedding finery pass by on a gondola with an enormous bunch of flowers behind the seats. The boat passes under various bridges, on one of which a sign advertises the 30th Venice Biennale art festival.

A display of Murano glass is followed by the view from the campanile over the Piazza San Marco, which is bustling with pedestrians and pigeons. Mrs Hall, the filmmaker’s wife, holds out her hand to feed the birds. At the end of the square is the opulent St Mark’s Basilica. From the top of a tall tower, people can be seen on other rooftops and entering the city’s historical buildings. The bright blue waters of the Adriatic Sea sparkle in the sunshine.

Away from the city, Mrs Hall eats a picnic from the boot of a car. Piles of logs lie by the water’s edge, with mountains in the background. An illustrated map shows the area of the Dalmatian coastline between Gospić and Split, with a pen indicating the location of Zadar.

Entrance to the town of Zadar is through an arched gateway, with the 9th century Church of St Donatus in the centre of the old town. From a high mountain path, the woman looks out over the Adriatic, and a local woman leads two donkeys, one of which is ridden by an old man.

The pen indicates Split on the map. A vibrant square is filled with shrubs and palm trees, with boats moored in the water along one side. A white steam ship with a red star logo puffs out smoke.

The Roman ruin of the Diocletian’s Palace, with its various colonnades and arches, is surrounded by inhabited buildings, and the commentary notes that 3,500 people live within the palace’s confines. The enormous statue of Bishop Gregory Nin by Ivan Meštrović looms nearby, and the woman places her hand on the figure’s toe to indicate its vast scale.

At Makarska, 60km down the coast, people stroll around the quayside. The woman stands with a local woman who holds some knitting and gestures for her to demonstrate, which she does. Two younger women spin wool by hand using a simple portable spindle, walking along a dust road as they spin.

The pen indicates Dubrovnik, known in Italian as Ragusa, on the map. In the town, a yellow tram takes passengers up a hill lined with palm trees. Like in Venice, the central square is covered with pigeons. The large white buildings along the Stradun, or main street, offer shade from the bright sun, and visitors also take a look down more modest side streets. From the top of a flight of stone steps, Mrs Hall looks down into a busy market square with fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as goods such as decorative carpets, for sale.

Further ornate buildings are shown, followed by a fortress with a round tower and iron grills over the windows. Rowing boats bob in the harbour and people mill around the quayside. From a distance, a tower with a cross atop it can be seen. The film ends at a sandy white beach by sparkling blue water, with people swimming and rowing boats.

Title – The End