A documentary on the current state of ritual in which Angela Dematté features as both subject and object of enquiry.

What happens when a human being is deprived of the basic rituals that have marked culture and their own personal story? This question underlies the work of Angela Demattè, author of Un rito di passaggio, which she created using dozens of interviews in which she gathers together testimonies and a wide variety of voices. This is a journey that is both intimate and universal at the same time, in which Demattè reflects on herself and on others in the person of two actresses that represent her, Beatrice Vecchione and Betty Colombo. A documentary in three parts, like the three phases of rites of passage – separation, margin, return to the community –which translates into artistic form a meditation on the funeral rite at the moment of its negation.



material collection, script and direction
Angela Dematté

film direction and editing
Adriano Schrade

Betty Colombo e Beatrice Vecchione

Agnese Chiodi

thanks to
Manuela Aloni, Gabriele Allevi, Gianni Aversano, Silvana Bazzi, Agnese Berloffa, Marco Biraghi, Gregorio Chiodi, Edoardo Chiodi, Fabio Dei, Monica Dematté, Saverio Dematté, Alfonso De Vreese, Giancarlo Di Maggio, Margherita Gramegna, Tindaro Granata, Leda Kreider, Jonah Lynch, Paolo Maiullari, Renato Morelli, Anna Citelli, Raoul Bretzel, Ruberta Puddu, Mario Rasetti, Consuelo Rebelde, Cristina Rigamonti, Carmelo Rifici, don Enzo Smeriglio, Ambrogio Sparagna, Francesco Zambelli

music composed and performed
Ernesto Fantasia

technical coordination
Sarah Chiarcos, LAC

Andrea Portioli

material research and documentarion
Angela Demattè, Marzia Montagna, Paola Tripoli, Silvia Pacciarini, Alice Nicotra, Francesca Sangalli, Isabella Lenzo, Roberta Puddu, Paolo Grassi, Rosanna Dematté, Tindaro Granata

production delegate
Marzia Montagna, LAC

video production delegate
Olmo Cerri, REC

video making
Associazione REC

technical material
Associazione REC

LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura


The wheel of ritual is always the same: it is the way human beings have found to enter into the perfection of the present moment which only children and the divine are able to experience. The adult human is not able to know a model of perfection without precipitating into the immobility of death.

Western human beings, perhaps, can no longer comprehend the function of ritual. They no longer can distinguish between symbolic and manipulative language. But the need to dispel this confusion lies within each of us, as we can well see from the intimate conversations collected here, in the revelatory dreams and mysterious coincidences that occurred during this exploration.

The Ego is nothing more than a collector, one that allows itself to be traversed, when it agrees to wait at the margins, in a “liminal” condition, or at least in a “liminoid” condition, which is the only state granted to the contemporary person. It is this “liminoid” state that theatre attempts to turn into a virtual means, in order to explore the possibility of its “presence”, perhaps through its absence.

The challenge I have ultimately set myself is to reconnect the immersive and Dionysian dimension of the image with my, and possibly everyone’s, ability to use the “word”, to restore idiom and roots to an inner world that has been lost in the chaos of feelings and emotions which it can no longer give a name to.

Angela Dematté
Playwright and actor, Dematté was born and raised in Trentino but chose Milan as her artistic residence. She graduated in literature and earned a diploma from the Accademia dei Filodrammatici and worked as an actress before becoming an author in 2009: she wrote Avevo un bel pallone rosso  which won the Premio Riccione and the Premio Golden Graal. The work was directed by Carmelo Rifici with whom she began a profound collaborative exploration producing among other:  L’officina, Chi resta, Il compromesso, Ifigenia, liberata  and Macbeth, le cose nascoste. During this period she also worked as a dramaturge and author for the directors Renato Sarti, Sandro Mabellini, Valter Malosti and above all with Andrea Chiodi. She wrote, directed and interpreted Mad in Europe which won the Premio Scenario 2015 and the  Premio Sonia Bonacina. In 2019 the city of Trento awarded her the Premio Aquila d’Oro for culture.  Her work is focused mainly on the potentialities and limitations of identity language, a topic on which she has created various masterclasses. Over the past year, based on her collaboration with the ISI Foundation, JRC di Ispra and with Carmelo Rifici at the LAC, she has concentrated on the dialogue with science as necessary to learning about humans of the future. The pandemic has led her to explore the relationship between theatrical writing and the new forms emerging from the internet and from non-theatrical spaces. For the project Lingua Madre  she is producing an experimental documentary on the theme of ritual. Together with Daniele Filosi she is working on the production of five theatrical monologues for one spectator drawn from The Spoon River Anthology. Her texts have been published in Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany and Egypt. She has worked with important theatres like: LAC di Lugano, Piccolo Teatro (Milan), Théâtre de la Manufacture in Nancy and various Italian theatres. She is the mother of three children.

Betty Colombo
Colombo has been working at Varese’s Puppet Theatre since 1991 where she consolidated her experience as a puppet master and actress in figure theatre alongside and under the guidance of Enrico Colombo. With Colombo she founded the Associazione Arteatro which produces performances and workshops particularly focused on the relationship between theatre and modern art. She developed a passion for narrative theatre and attended seminars with Laura Curino, Roberto Anglisani, Marco Baliani. She has twenty years’ experience as a primary school teacher; she has also been working a long time with adults where she concentrates mainly on reading aloud. She has lived all her life in Cazzago Brabbia on the shores of Lake Varese. For over a decade she has been interested in popular culture carrying out research, interviews and studies among local people. Emerging from this work she has written and staged texts that celebrate the places where she lives, that offer spectators stories about their own roots. Colombo is convinced that today more than ever “one needs to have been, in order to be”, that is, to be aware of one’s own origins. She wrote the book Le donne della pesca e del lago  published by Macchione 2009 with the cd of the narrated text and the illustrated album Vado Via  published by Bohem 2019. She has acted in two short films: L’ansia del giallo by Viola Folador and Pasqua con chi vuoi by Audrey Bersier.

Beatrice Vecchione
Born in Naples in 1993, after matriculating in the sciences she graduated from the Teatro Stabile di Torino directed by Valter Malosti. Later she took part in many of the Teatro Stabile’s productions working with directors such as Valter Malosti, Mario Martone, Leo Muscato, Jurij Ferrini, Marco Lorenzi. In 2017-18 the Stabile di Torino chose her to be the face of their season. In the summer of 2017 she was selected by the Centro teatrale Santacristina, founded by Luca Ronconi and Roberta Carlotto.  In 2019 she debuted at the Piccolo di Milano in La tragedia del vendicatore directed by Declan Donnellan. That same year, together with Lucrezia Guidone, who was also the director, she appeared in L’Arminuta produced by the Teatro Stabile d’Abruzzo and she played Sonya in Uncle Vanya directed by Krista Szekély. In 2020 she played in the project Onirica under the direction of Giulia Odetto, which was one of the finalists in the competition of the Biennale College Teatro promoted by the Biennale di Venezia, directed by Antonio Latella, aimed at young Italian directors under 30. She has recently worked on the set of a serial filmed by Francesco Ebbasta, produced by Cattleya.