Sales agency Taskovski Films has acquired Susanna della Sala’s “Last Stop Before Chocolate Mountain,” produced by Marco Visalberghi, who won Venice’s Golden Lion for “Sacro Gra.” The film will have its world premiere Tuesday at the Locarno Film Festival as part of the Critics’ Week section.
The feature documentary is set in a small Californian town called Bombay Beach, in the midst of a desert and next to a toxic lake. The town had become rundown and almost a ghost town until an influx of artists led to its rejuvenation. However, there has been tension between the older residents and the incomers.
In a statement, Della Sala said: “The documentary was born from a personal life experience and its creative process was four years in the making. ‘Last Stop Before Chocolate Mountain’ to me represents a universal and metaphorical land where we confront ourselves, awakening our creative impulses, in the mirage of individual liberation. The film embodies the collective longing, both desperate and joyful, for acceptance and a sense of belonging.”
Visalberghi added: “When in 2019, back from her last long stay in Bombay Beach, Susanna della Sala came to us with her magical footage I realized how much that unique community had captured her imagination. Personally, I have always been fascinated by life stories from the edge of the world, be it the ‘Sacred’ Gra of Rome or the desert of California. That is why I decided to bet on this young and original director.”
Visalberghi produces alongside Sherin Salvetti for DocLab. Cinematography is by Andrea Josè di Pasquale. The original soundtrack is by Vittorio De Vecchi. The editors are Aline Hervè, Della Sala and Elisabetta Abrami.