Skip to Content


CHRIST STOPPED AT EBOLI Introduced by Helene Stapinski


Friday, April 12

Helene Stapinski, author of Murder in Matera, will introduce the 7:00 show of Christ Stopped at Eboli on Friday, April 12. Murder in Matera is set in Basilicata (formerly Lucania), the same region in Italy’s “instep” where Carlo Levi’s book and Francesco Rosi’s film is set.

Ms. Stapinski has written about the area for The New York Times, Travel & Lesisure and Time Magazine.

From the age of four, Helene Stapinski heard lurid yet inspiring tales about her great-great-grandmother Vita, a loose woman back in Southern Italy who fled to America in 1892 with her three children after committing murder. Gripped by her family’s story, Helene embarked on a decade-long fact-finding mission, making numerous trips to Basilicata, the rural “instep” of Italy’s boot—once known for its superstitions, criminals, and desperate poverty. It’s an undiscovered land filled with badlands-like hills, ancient caves, and fertile valleys with silver-tinged olive trees, whose isolation is matched only by its forlorn, incredible beauty. In a stunning turn of events, Helene comes to learn what really happened, sparking an upheaval of her own identity and sense of history. Deeply researched and reported, Murder in Matera is a remarkable true story about one family’s hidden secrets. It is also a powerful and timeless story of immigration and motherhood—a profound testament to how far one woman would go in search of a better life in America, not only for herself, but for her children and the preservation of her family.

Related Films