Project Description

The Joys of the Women

1 x 57 minute documentary

The Joys of the Women is an uplifting musical journey that traces the search by singer/songwriter Kavisha Mazzella to find the lost songs of a generation. Inspired by the songs her grandmother use to sing Kavisha embarks on a journey spanning two continents. From the heart of the Italian immigrant community in Fremantle, Western Australia to her family’s native island of Ischia in Italy, we share Kavisha’s discoveries and the extraordinary power of the Fremantle Italian Women’s Choir, The Joys of the Women.

This moving, funny and often quirky film documents the formation of the choir, many of whom migrated to Australia in the 1950s and now perform to packed houses captivating audiences wherever they go. It captures the wit and warmth of the larger-than-life characters, and documents the last vestiges of Italian folk music in Australia and Italy.

As Kavisha motivates the women to sing, they discover the lost songs of a generation gone by and bring them back to life with a true passion. Reconnecting with the past helps the women realise their long held passions, and  allows them to challenge the gender stereotypes and cultural constraints of their early lives as young migrant brides.

Nominated, Dendy Awards, Sydney Film Festival 1993
Invited to the Festival dei Popoli, Florence and Treizieme Bilan du Film Ethnographique, Paris 1993
Nominated, Best Documentary, Film Critics Circle of Australia, 1993

Director and Writer  Franco di Chiera
Music Director  Kavisha Mazzella
Director of Photography  Simon Smith
Editor  Peter Pritchard
Producers  Andrew Ogilvie and Franco di Chiera
An Electric Pictures & Realworld Pictures Co-Production 1993