Umberto Eco – Director Davide Ferrario

Davide Ferrario’s UMBERTO ECO is a documentary immersion into all things Eco. His sublimely intimate film takes us on a tour of Umberto Eco’s private library, guided by the author himself. Combining new footage with material he shot with Eco in 2015 for a video installation for the Venice Biennale, Ferrario documents this incredible collection and the man who amassed it. As Eco leads us among the more than 50,000 volumes and his family reflects on his legacy, we also gain  insight into the library of the mind of this vastly prolific and original thinker. UMBERTO ECO director Davide Ferrario (After Midnight, We All Fall Down), joins us for a lively conversation on how he approached his humble and warm-hearted subject, enlisting Umberto’s family, Renate, Stefano and Carlotta, into this joyful collaboration and how important he felt it was to make Umberto’s sonorous collection of literature the other “character” in this exhilarating ode to the author of The Name of  the Rose, Umberto Eco. 


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About the filmmaker – Davide Ferrario was born in Lombardy in 1956, lives in Torino. He graduated in American Literature from Milan University in 1981. He began as a film critic in the 70’s, writing essays and books. He also funded a distribution company who released in Italy films by Wenders, Fassbinder, Wajda. Later, he became an Italian agent for such American independents as John Sayles and Jim Jarmusch. His debut as a director was La fine della notte, 1989, voted Best Italian Independent Film of the year. Since then he has directed fiction films and documentaries shown in international festivals like Berlin, Sundance, Venice, Toronto, Locarno. Ferrario holds a peculiar place in the Italian scene. Sternly independent, he runs his own production company, Rossofuoco, with which he has produced all his movies since 2002. Among them, Dopo mezzanotte (After Midnight), a great success at the Berlinale and sold to over 100 countries; and the documentary La strada di Levi (Primo Levi’s Journey), long-listed for the Academy Award. His most recent direction is Blood on the Crown, starring Harvey Keitel and Malcolm McDowell. Ferrario is also a novelist: his book Dissolvenza al nero (Fade to Black) has been translated in many languages and has been adapted for the screen by Oliver Parker in 2006. He is a regular contributor to Corriere della Sera; he is also active as a visual artist and a photographer. 


100% on RottenTomatoes

“Exploring fictional worlds with Eco for a guide remains a diverting and often enlightening pursuit.” – Nicolas Rapold, New York Times

“As we wander through the labyrinth we are drawn further and further into its trap, made ever more keenly aware of our own hunger for knowledge, for understanding.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

“The contemporary Italian philosopher, medievalist, critic, commentator and reluctant novelist comes to buoyant, engaging life in this look back at the man and his books, through the eyes of family and friends, and in the author’s own words.” – Chris Knight, Original Cin

“This swooning homage to printed matter is for the most part razor sharp, and if it convinces anyone that physical media is crucial for civilization, then all the better.” – Pat Padua, Spectrum Culture

“The film becomes a timely epistemological rumination on the difference between knowledge and information, the relationship between memory and technology.” – William Repass, Slant Magazine