a film by Valentina D’Amico
film editing Ivan Verardo
music Yo Yo Mundi, Angelo Losasso
original music credits Stefano Giaccone
still photographer Salvatore Bello
narrator Vittorio Amodio
produced by Filmare srl
(MiniDV – 60′ – 2010)
In Taranto, south Italy, militant women want to end illegality, arrogance, and impunity that humiliate their dignity, kill their husbands and children, weaken their health. Women who rebel against what in Taranto has always been considered as a salvation, now the worst of evils. Ilva.
Ilva is the largest steelworks in Europe. It makes high profits every year, but it also has the Italian primacy in deaths at work and in environment pollution.
“The Change. Women against Ilva” tells the battle of Francesca and Patrizia, wives of workers died Ilva; Vita, mother of a young worker killed by a crane in the establishment; Margherita, former employee mobbed and fired; Anna, a woman in wheelchair, and Caterina, mother of an autistic child: different diseases, both probable consequences of pollution. Their need for redemption, for themselves and others: in the courts, in street demonstrations, in associations, in the union.
In the middle always the steelworks. The work told by employees and former employees, and revealed by Antonino, worker died at the factory. His story, narrated in the text “La Svolta” (“The Change”) written by his wife Francesca, in the video is played by an actor.
Decades of environmental and socioeconomic upheavals of a city, Taranto, that perhaps today has found the courage to react against the factory that is a friend when it gives occupation but that is the enemy because he despises men and degrades the environment.
That’s why I shot a documentary about Taranto.
From whatever direction you approach it, you come across a town raped. Imposing industrial structures spit out different colored smokes that stifle districts, burn buildings, scrape lungs. Taranto is not just Ilva, of course. It is also Eni, Cementir, Sidercomit … In the name of development they have prostrate a city, its environment, its people and his health.
So why blame only Ilva?
Because for years Ilva has been Taranto, and still it is. Thanks to Ilva, a third of adults have found jobs and half of the families has been able to earn a living even in the darkest times of crisis. Thanks to Ilva, to the cash donations of the Riva Group, the city has some more public works. But Ilva is also the synthesis of business cynicism, the example of negativity of a system that puts profits to human life. Ilva holds the primacy in fatalities at work in Italy (43 since 1995) and the Italian primacy in dioxin pollution (92% of the total, 8% in Europe). Deaths from cancer soared in Taranto.
Workers and families out of necessity, politicians and local administrators for advantage were myopic till now, and today they awaken in a city of walking dead and they mourn the deads killed in the establishment. Ilva president, Emilio Riva always says: “Deaths at work are physiological.
If today we all know the tragedy of the seven workers burned alive in the steelworks of ThyssenKrupp Turin, too few people know the story of the 180 workers killed (from the first opening the gates in 1961) and of the environmental devastation caused by the third steel plant in the world. Why? Because Taranto is in the South of Italy, and in the South everything is permitted, perhaps? In 2005 a similar steel manufacturing plant was closed in Genoa. And Taranto?
In Taranto, the majority of the population does not want to close the plant. It’s understandable. However, paraphrasing the president of the Apulia region, Nichi Vendola, they want that ” The factory – the great factory ” that ” seems to have betrayed the expectations and hopes of an entire community ” lathes, or finally begin ” to be his productive lung, symbol and life of the city.”.
For that reason, I would like to give my contribution.