Friday night will be film night at PENfro Book Festival this year. The opening evening of the festival – Friday, September 12 – will feature a screening of ‘La Casa di Dio’, the award-winning film of the fantastic church created by Italian inmates in a prefab building at the prisoner of war camp at Henllan.
The screening will be in the Oak Hall at Rhosygilwen and the event will mark the 70th anniversary of the opening of the church, in September 1944.
Director Owain Ll?r will introduce this anniversary event and there will also be a bilingual Q&A after the screening.
The film has had over 30 public screenings in Wales, Ireland and the USA, and was also shown on television in Ireland and France. The film won 'Best Documentary Europe' at the 2010 International Film Festival in Ireland.
'La Casa di Dio' features interviews in Welsh, Italian and English. With rare and extensive archive footage, as well as beautiful imagery of the present- day church and the surrounding rural area, it is a beguiling account of friendship between former enemies. The film has English subtitles.
The Italian prisoners vacated one of the plasterboard cabins at the Henllan camp to build their church. Using unlikely materials, they made candlesticks from bully beef tins, a dome using concrete and chicken wire, and wallpaper from cement sacks. One young prisoner, Mario Ferlito, painted a fresco of 'The Last Supper' with paint made from carrots, tobacco, and dye tablets 'borrowed' from a Drefach Velindre Woollen Mill.
The event starts at 8pm. Tickets are £6.