Who needs the Hulk when you have Italian stonecutters?
Posted at 5:59 PM on June 11, 2008
by Euan Kerr
While it's unlikely to rival the new Hulk movie at the box office, "If Stone Could Speak" the movie screening at the Mounds Theater in St Paul Friday night has some real life superheroes in it.
Local labor historian Randy Croce has created an hour long documentary about the flood of Italian stonecutters who moved from northern Italy to Barre in Vermont to ply their trade over the last century or so. These mastercraftsmen learned their trade working the marble from their homeland, and easily adapted to working the Vermont granite. Many of them traveled the country doing contract work, including some here in St Paul.
Croce does a great job of bringing historical characters to life, and describing how these artists worked and played hard, maintaining a culture thousands of miles from home, even in the face of prohibition which threatened their wine-making, and silicosis, the dust-caused disease which decimated their numbers.
The film will also screen later in the summer on TPT around labor day. It's well worth a look.