Director Ivana Corsale's new film "Campania In-Felix" (Unhappy Country) examines the issue of pollution in Italy's verdant Campania region. "Campania In-Felix" reminds us that pollution is a worldwide issue, and that none of us are immune to its impact.
Green Earth Cinema recently spoke with Corsale. The interview follows:
1.) What’s the “elevator pitch” you give to people who ask you about "Campania In-Felix"?
Imagine a lush, green, fertile land. Imagine the bond that people have with such a land— people who have lived there for thousands of years. Now, imagine a criminal organization dumping toxic waste into this land. This is the story portrayed in "Campania In-Felix".
2.) What motivated you to make "Campania In-Felix"?
I was born and raised in Southern Italy and in the past 12 years during which I've lived away from home, I have seen several drastic changes taking place in Italy. I have seen a country that was different from the one I used to live. I felt the urgency to document one of the several issues affecting my home country. I picked this one because it felt close to my heart. The geographical location and how a rural community is now forever changed were the two main factors that drew my attention and interest.
3.) What do you think needs to happen to bring about change in Italy?
This is a complex issue where many factors— political, social, financial and cultural, come into play and have an impact on the environmental situation in Campania. I believe that a couple of things need to occur in order to create change. First, a social reawakening should occur in Southern Italy. The people who are most affected by the dumping appear somewhat resigned and think that no possible and rational solution can occur at the moment. In fact, many often say that the only event that can save them is if Mt. Vesuvius could suddenly erupt. I also think that in order to create change, there should be a solid and unified movement among activist groups. Right now, the few activists in the area appear isolated in their action. I believe that in order to create change all the communities in the region should find a way to unite for a common cause, which is their health and environment.
4.) What’s next for "Campania In-Felix"?
Right now Campania In-Felix is touring around the US in some festivals. Next week it will screen at the Thin Line Film Festival in Denton, TX and the week after it will be at the Colorado Environmental Film Festival (CEFF). I would like this film to hold its educational value and meaning, and also find a distribution outlet in the educational media market. After that, I'm ready to concentrate my attention on a new documentary, possibly in Italy.
5.) Anything else you would like to add?
This is not just a story of environmental injustice. I believe it's a reminder of how we are connected to the land, and the place we live in. I want viewers to look at this film and issue and realize that what's happening in Campania, this broken balance between people and their land, can occur anywhere else.
Learn more about "Campania In-Felix" at the film's website: