Bêka & Lemoine's latest film shows Venice's worst flood in half a century
Architectural filmmakers Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine have released footage from a film showing the impact of flooding in Venice.
The duo, known for films including Koolhaas Houselife and Moriyama-San, have released a two-minute trailer for their latest movie. It contains recent footage showing the streets of Venice under water, including the whole of Piazza San Marco.
The Italian city was hit by its worst flood since 1966 on on Tuesday 12 November. Water levels rose to 1.87 metres, leaving most of the city submerged. High waters have continued throughout the week, resulting in over €1 billion worth of damage.
"Being in Venice this week, we were in the foreground to observe the impact of this historical event," said Bêka & Lemoine.
Footage shows Venice streets under water
The footage shows tourists wading through the floods in waterproofs, shop owners trying to keep the waters at bay and locals trying to go about their daily business.
It also shows crowds of journalists and photographers gathering as authority figures including former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and Venice mayor Luigi Brugnaro arrive on the scene.
Venice is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, spread out over 118 small islands. It contains some of the world's most revered buildings, including St Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace and the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, as well as artworks by Carpaccio and Veronese.
The city is also home to cultural venues including the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and is currently hosting the Venice Art Biennale.
The biennale organisers have reported no damage to works on show in its main venues, the Giardini and the Arsenale, according to The Art Newspaper. However water is understood to have penetrated several of the national pavilions.
Extensive damage to St Mark's
St Mark's Basilica – which has only flooded six times since its construction in 1092 – has suffered extensive damage. The high waters have also caused the collapse of the San Servolo retaining wall, which houses Venice International University.
The government has pledged €20 million towards the cost of repairs. The mayor has also opened a bank account to receive charity donations.
A major infrastructure project has been underway since 2003 to protect the city from flooding, but the project has suffered multiple setbacks.
Bêka & Lemoine recorded the footage for ongoing series Homo Urbanus, a "huge cinematic odyssey" exploring the daily life of humanity in cities all around the world.
The series already includes films shot in Bogotà, Seoul, Tokyo, Kyoto, Rabat, Naples, Shanghai, Doha and Saint Petersburg. These are currently on show at the Rabat Biennale in Morocco and will also be shown in Shenzhen at the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture later this year.