Crítica de Pablo Suárez - Buenos Aires Herald

Founded by Giovanni Anconetani in the early 20th century, Anconetani is the first and only manufacturer of accordions in Latin America, a brand much cherished by most renowned musicians for the quality of its instruments. But prior to making his own instruments, Don Giovanni had arrived in Argentina as a representative of the Italian brand Paolo Soprani, a leading name in European accordions, which he manufactured, sold and even played in several orchestras. It was a meticulous task that demanded precision and devotion in equal doses, and it was carried out to perfection.

Unfortunately, as a result of the War World II, many accordion pieces and parts could no longer be imported from Europe, so there was no way to keep making the instruments. However, the silver lining is that Giovanni decided to take advantage of this hardship: he founded his own factory where he and all his relatives put hands to work to make the best possible instruments of the type. And so they did. As expected, sooner than later these Argentine accordions became as valuable as the Paolo Soprani ones — if not more.

The Argentine documentary Anconetani, directed by Silvia Di Florio and Gustavo Cataldi, traces the origins and development of said factory, which is now being run by Nazareno Anconetani, Giovanni’s youngest son, currently an old man who nonetheless feels, talks, and behaves like the youngest one of the bunch. Each day, with as much accuracy and devotion as his father had, Nazareno tirelessly repairs and restores old accordions that still are way better than the ones made today. As the musicians say, the purity of their sound is unparalleled.

He also plays the drums with the energy and spirit of a young heart, just like he mingles with people at ease, always willing to share some quality time doing the simplest and most genuine things which give life much of its meaning. And just like Nazareno’s everyday life is admirable in its vivacity, so is the story of the factory which he warmly narrates from the very beginning when his father first stepped on Argentine soil.

What makes Silvia Di Florio’s and Gustavo Cataldi’s film an appealing piece is how unobtrusively Nazareno’s energetic personality, his sweet memories and current views are rendered to viewers from a loving point of view that shows the man in total transparency. And at the same time, you get to have more than a glimpse of a trade that is performed with both responsibility and endless affection. In fact, it’s hard to think of the work without thinking of the man. So, Anconetani is not just a documentary about making instruments, or even about music. It’s goes far beyond that.

Production notes
Anconetani (Argentina, 2014) Written by Gustavo Alonso. Directed and edited by Silvia Di Florio, Gustavo Cataldi. Cinematography: Gustavo Cataldi. Music: Mintcho Garramone. Produced by Felicita Raffo, Andrés Logares. Runtime: 63 minutes.