My Town (1986)

About the Film

Shot in Palermiti and the Boston area of Massachusetts, MY TOWN/MIO PAESE tells the story of immigrants and their paesani in the province of Calabria, Italy. Although these immigrants left their village for a better life, they brought strong family, religious and cultural traditions to their new home. On-location footage and personal interviews in Palermiti and in Massachusetts show the ties between the two groups of Palermitesi. Despite their success in America, many immigrants hope to return to Palermiti. In fact, some of the people in Italy have reverse-emigrated.

The documentary features La Festa della Madonna della Luce (the Feast of the Madonna of Light.) Palermitesi follow the saint in processions through the narrow, winding streets of Palermiti and the woods of Hingham followed by a day of celebration. A central theme of the film is the story of this patron saint’s miracles as told by three generations of Italians and Italian-Americans. Scenes from the locations where the legends occurred illustrate this moving oral history.

More About This Film


  • PBS National Broadcast, American Anthropological Assn. selection.


For licensing, film rights and permissions, contact Katherine Gulla, the distributor, or Folkstreams.

Film Details

  • Film by: Katherine Gulla
  • Produced by: Katherine Gulla
  • Cinematographer: Peter Sturken, Brian Dowley, Frank Lane
  • Sound: Vladimir Lozinski, Francis X. Coakley, Nancy Cohen, Margo Garrison, Dan Jones
  • Editor: Dan McCabe
  • Other Credits: Narrator: Lanie Zera ; Associate producer: Henry Ferrini ; Production assistant: Larry Simon, Nancy M. Tates ; Production manager: Donald Jones ; Sound mix: Richard Bock ; Video engineer: Joel Olicker ; Audio engineer: James Deering ; Additional production services: Multivision ; Consulting historian: Bob Tosiello ; Consulting anthropologist: Maureen Giovannini ; Executive producer: Raquel Ortiz
  • Funding: The Olivetti Foundation ; Massachusetts Order, Sons of Italy ; Massachusetts Foundation for Humanities and Public Policy
  • Original Format: 3/4 inch videotape: U-matic
  • © 1986, Katherine Gulla
  • 26mins, Color
  • Categories:
    Ethnic & Immigrant Cultures Religion Festivals/Customs Urban Life