Even today, in order to create a sculpture in bronze, it is necessary to take the same steps taken in the fifth century BC for the Riace bronzes. These steps are not taught in school, but are passed on in the ancient oral tradition and through apprenticeships from artisans. This documentary is a way to observe and feel the work of a 100-year old bronze foundry in Italy: a place were past and present share the same gestures and where each gesture it's a sculpture itself.
"Austere, meditative, inscrutable, fascinating - Hand Gestures is the kind of documentary that is made all too rarely in this age of spoonfed soundbites and burbling talking heads." The Guardian
"Visually poetic, beautifully shot and winner of the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize at the 2015 Berlinale, Francesco Clerici's documentary Hand Gestures, offers a tantalising insight into the process of lost-wax casting which dates back to the 4th Century BC, and is passed on in the ancient oral tradition and through apprenticeships from artisans. It's captivating viewing." Huffington Post
"...the film is never hectoringly nostalgic about the old ways or bothered with how such a tradition is allowed to withstand the wrecking-ball of capitalistic progress. There's no narration, very little talking and explanatory intertitles only arrive prior to the end credits, as this is a film which celebrates a history of artisanship and memory through a single scintillating act of creation." Little White Lies
"It's remarkable how riveting watching other people work can be: the process is slow, meditative and careful, fascinating in its detail." - Tom Huddleston, Time Out
"...revealing continuity that spans decades; this visually poetic film shows how integral both artist and artisan are to the act of creation." - HUNGERTV
"...beautifully and artistically shot. It is a special and rare look at a historic and skilled practice." - Emily D'Silva, The Upcoming
"Shows an incredible maturity and patience, and an openness to past times and methods of creation that is astonishing. It is also really entertaining. More than once I found myself wondering, expectantly, just what would happen next and the excitement of seeing the finished product, having witnessed its creation and production through the many and varied hand gestures of its creators is wonderful. This an immersive and oddly enthralling film, and one that shows just how well and thoroughly an act of creation can be mirrored in another visual artist's depiction of it." - Bruce Bailey, FLICKFEAST