OUR PROPOSED DOCUMENTARY
Picture this: The Polo sisters sitting in a 13th century opera house located on the canal in Venice, Italy. It is where explorer Marco Polo lived in with his wife and children and where he died. The rich sounds of “Cavalleria Rusticana” fill the theatre, the walls come alive with images. Memories of the sisters’ youth, stories about their family connection to Marco Polo, images of the ancient cities holding clues to the Polo origins. They are here searching for clues to their past and family ties to Marco Polo.
In this 90 min. documentary, Polo sisters Adriane and Marina who as children immigrated to Canada from Slovenia had often heard about their connection to the Polo’s from Šibenik, Croatia.
We follow them as they visit Marco Polo’s Il Milione neighborhood, in Venice. The house where he died is now an opera house. They lay a flower at the church where he was interned, and discover his Last Will and Testament.
They travel to Šibenik in Croatia. It is where Marco Polo’s father Niccolo and his uncle Maffeo were from. Their search leads them to the islands around Dubrovnik, and to the Korčula Island now believed to be the birthplace of Marco Polo. They interview local historians, visit museums and explore ancient walled cities on the beautiful Dalmation coast. Hot on the trail they peel back over 700 years of history imaging what life was like here in the 13th century while enjoying the cuisine and wines of the area today.
Finally they travel back to Slovenia to re-discover a family they had lost, and to re-connect with childhood friends from a lifetime ago.
This documentary also explores the power of Venice during Marco Polo’s lifetime, in the late 12 and early 13th century. Venice heavily influenced this part of the Mediterranean. The city’s foundation was built using Istrian wood. Salt was heavily traded with Slovenia. This is an area that was all under Venetian rule.
The Polo sisters did a preliminary visit there last summer and made a web series called Marco Polo Family Ties, which is posted on YouTube.