"Portland 2 Portland - A Political Train Journey Across America"
2012 - 100 mins (HD)
Directed by: Andrea Salvadore
DP/camera operator & editing: Alberto Engeli
additional cameraman: Gianni Scimone
produced by Ruvido Produzioni-Roma in partnership with the Corriere della Sera and the Goethe-Institut
aired on September 15, 2012 on La7, an Italian network.
What image do Europeans have of the United States of America and does it correspond to reality? What do Americans think of Europeans? How do people live along the coasts of the United States and in the great Midwest? What stories can they tell on the eve of the Presidential elections of 2012? Two journalist-travelers from Europe decided to cross the United States by train to find out.
In June of 2012 Beppe Severgnini, columnist for the Corriere della Sera and the Financial Times, as well as a best-selling author and the most widely read Italian author in the United States in the past 5 years, decided to travel this time from the Atlantic to the Pacific. A journey of more than 6000 kilometers (3750 miles) crossing 18 states, from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon by train, the ideal means of transportation for meeting people, opinions, and landscapes. From this journey, which he took with colleague Karl Hoffman, the correspondent in Italy for the German broadcasting station ARD, Severgnini described his stops on Twitter, wrote about them on his blog, and spoke about them online on CorriereTv, as well as on the weekly Sette. He also took notes for a book that will be published.
Broadcast on the air in Italy on channel La7, "Portland 2 Portland - A Political Train Journey Across America," received raving reviews. Not only is it a log of this great journey with breathtaking images of America, from panoramas of Montana to the crossing of the Mississippi. There are also stops in major cities, such as Boston, Cleveland, Obama's Chicago, Milwaukee, and Seattle, adventures in small towns, such as Rugby, ND and Malta, MT, the train and its passengers, and the extreme availability of the people encountered. All of this is captured in this documentary.
Beppe Severgnini has been writing for the "Corriere della Sera" since 1995. Since 2011, he has been a columnist for the "Financial Times". His most recent book is "Mamma mia! Berlusconi's Italy Explained to Posterity and Friends Abroad" (Rizzoli International, 2011). Since 1998, Severgnini has been moderating 'Italians' (italians.corriere.it). He is the most-followed Italian journalist on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/beppesevergnini
Severgnini's twelve books, published in Italy by Rizzoli, are bestsellers. Un italiano in America became a National Bestseller in the US as Ciao, America! (Doubleday, 2002). La testa degli italiani was a New York Times Bestseller as La Bella Figura (Doubleday, 2006) and has been translated into fifteen languages. He has written for The Sunday Times (1992-1993), The Economist (1993-2003) and The New York Times Syndicate (2007-2009). In 2004, he was voted 'Euopean Journalist of the Year' in Brussels. Beppe is also a broadcaster and worked for Rai, Sky Italia, Channel 4 UK and the BBC. He teaches at the Walter Tobagi School of Journalism at the University of Milan/IFG (2009-2012). He has been a research fellow/writer in residence at MIT/Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2009) and has taught at Middlebury College, VT (2006), and at the universities of Milan-Bocconi (2003 and 2006), Parma (1998) and Pavia (2002).
In 2001, Beppe Severgnini was made an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) by HM Queen Elizabeth II and in 2011 Italian President Giorgio Napolitano conferred on him the title of Commendatore.
On November 4, 2012 the documentary was presented at the Chicago Cultural Center in Chicago, IL.
Here you can see a short video of that presentation, with Beppe Severgnini, Alberto Engeli and Gianni Scimone.