The New South of Italy

Pino Espito
Italy 2010 | 74 Min. | DigiBeta, OmeU

This is a filmic reflec­tion on South­ern Italy as it changes from a place of emi­gra­tion to a des­ti­na­tion for immi­gra­tion. The film begins in a grave­yard of refugee ships on Lampe­dusa. It shows the wrecks of boats which the refugees use to cross the Mediter­ranean Sea. It is esti­mat­ed that around 10.000 people have drowned in the Straight of Sicily over the last 10 years. The film con­tin­ues in Cal­abria, in one of those time­less vil­lages with shrink­ing local pop­u­la­tions. We visit the former Rosarno fac­to­ry (Reggio Cal­abria), where around 300 immi­grants built bar­ri­cades in Decem­ber 2008 in protest against recur­ring vio­lence. We meet migrants who come for the winter to work in the orange, tan­ger­ine and olive har­vest. The film ends as it begins, with pho­tographs by Anto­nio Murg­eri. This time, they are from the area around Naples in the South, which is con­front­ed with the task of taking in all the des­per­ate people flee­ing from hunger and war. Often migrants also flee to north­ern Italy, which is dom­i­nat­ed by the Lega Nord, whose prej­u­dices, rejec­tion and xeno­pho­bic laws forces them to move invol­un­tar­i­ly to the Ital­ian Mez­zo­giorno. This region lacks the resources and infra­struc­ture to accom­mo­date all these drift­ing people in an ade­quate way. People there­fore share what little they have in the midst of vio­lence and exploitation. 

With IL NUOVO SUD DELLITALIA I sought pre­dom­i­nant­ly to create a vein of sub­jec­tiv­i­ty and poetry not typ­i­cal­ly found in doc­u­men­taries, so that the viewer can receive a proper per­cep­tion of the mes­sage, derived from images, from silences and from noises rather than from infor­ma­tion.” (Pino Esposito)