Watch the Pallino (2007), 42 min. Stephanie Foerster, dir.

At the turn of the twentieth century, Italian immigrants found jobs in the coalmines in the rural town of Toluca, Illinois.  On Sundays afternoons, the Italian miners and their families gathered to play the game of bocce, competing for a bottle of wine or wheel of cheese.  Today, Toluca maintains this convivial spirit by hosting, during the Labor Day weekend, what is arguably the largest bocce tournament of its kind in the country and probably one of the most raucous. Watch the Pallino uncovers the history of Toluca’s passion for bocce, and follows avid bocce players and organizers over the course of the daylong tournament, all the way to the finals. This documentary film showcases how the Italian game of lawn bowls became a small town passion in middle America.

Post-screening discussion with the director led by Joseph Sciorra, Calandra Institute.