Rosi about Eboli A film byBjörn Blixt, Peter Englesson

An outstanding documentary filmed by Swedish filmmakers Björn Blixt and Peter Englesson showing the behind-the-scenes of Christ Stopped at Eboli (1979) by Francesco Rosi.

Shoot in Matera and in region of Basilicata – 1978.
Interview with Francesco Rosi in Copenhagen 1982.
Premier at Swedish Television 1982


Note by Peter Englesson:

Rosi About Eboli
During my last semester at the National Film School in Stockholm I got an Scholarship to travel
and visit a film shoot of my own choice. Meanwhile Björn was in contact with Pasqualino De
Santis and Pasqualino invited Björn to visit the shoot of Cristo si e fermato a Eboli. Björn who
graduated from the Film School one year before me, called me and asked if I was interested to
join him to visit the shoot. Of course I was interested, I already had read the novel from Carlo Levi.
We where invited for a visit, but we took the chance to bring some film equipment with us. I had
the opportunity to borrow sound equipment from the film school and we could rent a camera in
Rome. Swedish Television was very generous to offer us 10 reels of 16mm film, equivalent to
around 120 minutes of raw material for the documentary film.

In April 1978 we took the train from Stockholm all the way to Matera, in those days a very
complicated and long journey.

However we manage to come to Matera just in time for the shoot to start. Since we only have had
some brief conversation with Pasqualino and with limited correspondence and we didn’t speak a
word of Italian, we where a little shy in the beginning and keep us in the background. But it
seemed nobody really objected our present, so we got more aggressive and joint the shoot more

One day the line producer Norman came over( Norman was the only in the crew speaking
english ) and told us that Gian Maria Volonté would like to make an interview with us.

Since none of us speaks Italian, he said he could make the interview with out any questions, he
would interview himself. So we had a unique opportunity to interview Gian Maria Volonté without
knowing what he talked about . Of course we had it translated when I was editing the movie.

A few years later, Francesco Rosi came Copenhagen for a master class at the Danish Film school
and I had the opportunity to ask him for an interview talking about the shoot of Cristo si e fermato
a Eboli. This time I had prepared the questions and Francesco was very generous end
openminded during the interview.

The documentary “Rosi about Eboli” was only shown once at the Swedish Television. The film
copy then disappeared. Now 44 years later, we have recovered the documentary from U-matic

Hopefully this story tells a lot about Francesco Rosi’s generosity inviting the young generation to
visit his shoot without any commitments.


in collaboration with

Museo Nazionale del Cinema di Torino