As a first time visitor and explorer, the Campania region speaks of natural beauty all around. It is easy to believe that the Romans nicknamed the area Campania Felix, happy land, for its visible fertility and abundant vegetation that grows literally everywhere. In the entire Italian territory, this supreme presence of nature is probably only visible here in Campania.

Today this beautiful landscape is tainted by toxic contamination that in the last 20 years has reached the water and soil, deeply compromising the fertility and rural richness of the land. It is hard to imagine thousands of years of rural prosperity and farming traditions being shattered by 20 years of illegal waste activities by a Mafia organization.

As a storyteller with a background in journalism, I felt the need to deliver a story about environmental injustice. But it’s more than that. I grew up in Southern Italy, in a relatively small city in Sicily. I left Italy when I was 20 because I wanted to venture outside of my own country. In the past 10 years, I have seen the changes occurring in Italy and I start seeing a country I’m having troubles connecting with. To be able to document these social and cultural changes and facets means that I have a chance to reconnect with my country and try to understand the changes that are occurring today. It also allows me to share these stories to new audiences.

I consider this film the most challenging project I’ve ever done. I have produced, edited and directed other short documentaries before but Campania In-Felix (Unhappy Country) is the first in-depth and complex film I’ve directed and produced. Working on this film has certainly convinced me that as ideas and words hold a certain power, so do images and films. While I present a very local story circumscribed to a specific geographical area, the messages that come out from this film about environment, justice, collective memory and moral responsibility are applicable everywhere today. The stories and issues I present in this film do not only pertain to the subjects in the film because the environmental disaster in Campania can happen and has already happened in other parts of the world.

Ivana Corsale, Director

Leave a Comment