Matera, the so-called Jerusalem of Lucania, has been host to many biblical movies including Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (2004), Pier Paolo Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964), and King David (1985), directed by Bruce Beresford and starring Richard Gere. Matera featured as Bethlehem and Nazareth in Catherine Hardwicke’s The Nativity Story (2006). The famed city has also acted as the setting for a variety of films from Neorealist films, which made use of the poverty in the Sassi in the mid-twentieth century, to the Night Sun (1990), directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani and based on the work of Russian author Tolstoy, and Italia ’61 (1961), directed by Jan Lenica, which showed a 360° view of Matera using the technique of circle vision. Scenes fromThe Omen (2006) by John Moore, a horror film about the antichrist, were also shot in Matera while Francesco Rosi’s fairytale, C’era Una Volta (1967), featuring Sophia Loren and Omar Sharif, was filmed in the region.

In 2015 and 2017 respectively, Matera also provided the setting for the films “Let’s get married” and “Wonder Woman”. In 2018, the City of the Sassi was chosen among the main locations of the film “The King’s Musketeers” by director Giovanni Veronesi, starring Pierfrancesco Favino, Rocco Papaleo, Valerio Mastandrea and Maria Maddalena di Davis.
Currently set for release in 2021 is “James Bond: No Time to Die” by director Cary Fukunaga, which once again sees Daniel Craig as the most famous secret agent in cinema history.

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