Il Buco

Il Buco

Michelangelo Frammartino / 2021 / 93 minutes / Italy

Winner, Special Jury Prize, Venice Film Festival


During the economic boom of the 1960s, Europe’s highest building is being built in Italy’s prosperous North. At the other end of the country, young speleologists explore Europe’s deepest cave in the untouched Calabrian hinterland. The bottom of the Bifurto Abyss, 700 meters below Earth, is reached for the first time. The intruders’ venture goes unnoticed by the inhabitants of a small neighboring village, but not by the old shepherd of the Pollino plateau whose solitary life begins to interweave with the group’s journey. Another work of nearly wordless organic beauty that touches on the mystical from the visionary director of Le Quattro Volte, Michelangelo Frammartino’s Il Buco chronicles a visit through unknown depths of life and nature and parallels two great voyages to the interior.


A Grasshopper Film and Gratitude Films Co-Release.


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  • "Where nature, the universe, and humans converge... A mystical cinematic experience.”

    — Bong Joon Ho
  • “One of the Ten Best Movies of 2022. A rapturous, quietly hypnotic film.”

    Time Magazine
  • “A quiet, intense, almost overwhelmingly beautiful meditation on life, death, human curiosity and the unfathomable power of nature.”

    — A.O. Scott, The New York Times
  • “A masterpiece. Magnificent. Offers us images of the like seldom seen in cinema.”

    — David Jenkins, Little White Lies
  • “Visually stunning. A masterful work of sound and sight. An immersive experience.”

    — Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter
  • “Breathtaking. The mere existence of these shots is remarkable. The resplendence of the cave sequences must be seen to be believed.”

    — Forrest Cardamenis, Reverse Shot
  • Il Buco proves that cinema still has the capacity to astonish.”

    — Lee Marshall, Screen
  • “A pure pleasure. I’m not certain I can fully explain it. I’m not convinced it matters.”

    — Xan Brooks, The Guardian
  • “Magnificent. A thing of wonder.”

    — Stephanie Bunbury, Deadline
  • “One of the ten best films of the year. An exquisite account of an expedition of speleologists to explore a Calabrian cave in 1961.”

    — James Quandt, Artforum
  • "One of the most ravishing, enveloping theatrical experiences."

    — Jordan Raup, The Film Stage
  • "Nothing short of miraculous, and one of the year's best films."

    — Fran Hoepfner, The Wrap
  • "There’s an immersive thrill about feeling the camera propped on a precipice as the explorers descend down the abyss. Spell-binding."

    — Leonardo Goi,MUBI Notebook
Trailer / Clips