Nearly 50 years ago, torrential rains in northwestern and central Italy caused massive flooding throughout the area, including Florence. As the waters rose, so did concerns about the city’s treasured masterpieces. And then the worst-case scenario became reality: 14,000 works of art and rare books were destroyed. Based on the book "When the World Answered: Florence, Women Artists and the 1966 Flood" by Linda Falcone and Jane Fortune, When the World Answered looks back at the worldwide Herculean efforts to save and restore the artwork of Florence.
The documentary also explores modern-day efforts to recognize a group of women artists who made significant contributions during Florence's time of need. Filmed on location in Italy, the film features archival footage and a new interview with legendary Italian director/producer Franco Zeffirelli, whose 1966 documentary Florence: Days of Destruction showed the flood's impact and helped rally the world to help.