Nodas. Launeddas at the Time of Crisis


  • Umberto Cao Centre Norbert Elias
  • Andrea Mura



Traditional Music, Sardinia, Ethnomusicology, Economic Crisis


Dating back to 3000 years ago, Launeddas are a wind instrument from the Nuragic civilisation (Sardinia, 18th century BC/2nd century AD) bearing the marks of contaminations from all over the Mediterranean Sea and beyond. Nearly vanished between the 1960s and 1970s, Launeddas are extraordinarily alive and ever more widespread today. In today’s "time of crisis", they found levels of artistic excellence that just some decades ago looked no longer attainable. This documentary portrays five talents from the new generation of Launeddas players, exploring through their eyes the interstitial spaces between folklore and ethnicity, traditions and experimentation, identity and globalization. At the same time, the film exposes a harsh (but not resigned) aperture on the conditions of an entire generation, in an island such as Sardinia – among the poorest regions in Europe - which struggles with structural socioeconomic problems, whose solutions are still far away.

Author Biographies

Umberto Cao, Centre Norbert Elias

I have just obtained a joint-PhD in Anthropology at EHESS and University of Milan Bicocca, with a thesis on a civil resistance movement from Chiapas, Mexico, which is also the subject of the ethnographic film I'm currently shooting ( I worked several years in the field of international cooperation at the University of Bologna. And I eventually addressed my interests to visual anthropology, starting with photo and video projects on contemporary murals. The first documentary I co-directed – Nodas - was officially selected in numerous international film festivals, such as the 15th Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival.

I'm currently affiliated to the Centre Norbert Elias as jeune docteur.

Andrea Mura

(Cagliari Italy, 1980) I am an italian film-maker,  graduate of the University of Calgiari in Philosophy and the Italian National Film School in Documentary and Docu-fiction. My work explores familiar and remote cultural traditions, with particular attention to contaminations and contemporaneity that result in the emergence of new cultural perspectives.
As a director, producer and editor, I have made various documentaries, short films and commercials featured at international festivals: the Mediterranean Festival – Primed (Marseille), RAI FIlm Festival (Bristol), Images and sounds of the world (Florence), See you sound (Turin), Life after oil (SantaTeresa di Gallura), Skepto FIlm Festival and Babel Film Festival (Cagliari). I also carry out Media Arts training through workshops in schools, SPRAR centres and communities dealing with mental and social problems. Since 2014 I have been co-director of the Sole Luna Documentary Film Festival in Palermo (Sicily) and Treviso (Veneto). In 2018 I founded , with Chiara Andrich and Giovanni Pellegrini, Ginko Film production company.




How to Cite

Cao, U., & Mura, A. (2020). Nodas. Launeddas at the Time of Crisis. Journal of Anthropological Films, 4(02).