When I’m asked about Rome, people often are surprised of how much my description of the city differs from the traditional image portrayed by tourist guides and postcards. They don’t know that behind the famous Ethernal City lies another town, maybe less scenic, but still very interesting. One of the landmark of this hidden Rome was the Roma Pantano Light Rail, as described in “Casilina Express”, a movie by Tommaso Valente.
“A small metropolitan train line that links the outskirts of Rome with the city centre seen through the eyes and the everyday life of the railwaymen who struggle to keep a service to the public guaranteed. By sideways looks, everyday micro-stories and personal memories, the film tells of the transformation of the edge of the city and the encroachment of the metropolis that has gobbled up local identities. The little railway, with all its obsolescence and maintenance difficulties, is the narrative thread by which the film outlines the landscape at the city’s outskirts, with its laid back rhythm and its entrancing blend of old and new fashioned ways, casting a glance both light and melancholy into memory to seek evocative reminiscences.”