Cecilia Zoppelletto
CREAM, University of Westminster

Falling (2017) is a short experimental film which expresses, through poetry, the relationship between man and nature, particularly mankind’s impact on the environment – never-ending exploitation, leaving the world bare. The 1970s archive footage, which hails the ingenuity and benefits of industrial agriculture, lays exposed and ruined like its consequences. Salvaged archive footage from Congo’s national archives is reinterpreted through Giovanni Pascoli’s poem, The Fallen Oak (1907). The poem describes labourers intent on their goal of chopping down an oak tree for firewood, who are, at first, oblivious of the consequences, and then unwilling to change their minds until it is too late. Through her PhD research project, the film’s director is involved in the digitisation of documentaries from the National Film Archives of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where much of the filmmaking in the 1970s was dedicated to modernisation, particularly the national development of industrial crop harvesting and other agricultural processes. The original footage comprises 16mm films that have suffered over forty years of a tropical climate and intermittent storage, turning the film into atmospheric archaeological media records.

Produced and directed by Cecilia Zoppelletto
Featuring: Tazmyn-May Gebbett
Cinematography: Paolo Camata
Editing: Paolo Camata
Production Assistant: Raphael Odukoya
Archive footage: RTNC Radio Television Nationale Congolaise
Film digitisation: Raphael Odukoya
Script supervisor: Ou Qing
Music: Re-Lab
Falling arrangement: Raphael Odukoya
Associate producer: Maria Carla Zizolfi
Wardrobe: Ella Boutique, London
Based on the poem La Quercia Caduta (The Fallen Oak) (1907) by Giovanni Pascoli


Born in Padua in Italy in 1975, Cecilia has over ten years’ experience in TV production, having worked for the TV newtork Antenna Tre Nordest in Italy and the London Bureau of RAI, the Italian State broadcaster. She has lived in London since 1994, where she founded Preston Witman Productions, a video and film production company. Her directorial debut, the feature documentary La Belle at The Movies (2016) investigates the disappearance of cinemas in Kinshasa, the city known as “Kin la belle” (“Kinshasa the beautiful”). Cecilia is currently researching the film archives of the Democratic Republic of Congo as part of her PhD research at CREAM, University of Westminster. She is a visiting lecturer at the University of Westminster and an active member of the Africa Media Centre.