Programmed by Daniela Persico
“Fango Rosso”, literally “red mud”, is the toxic waste from mining. It covers the Sulcis hills in Sardinia, a place where the stunning beauty of the landscape clashes with a history of betrayed promises, illusions of progress and dishonest politics. Damiano and Mattia spend their afternoons in the shade of the abandoned mine. They’re in their early thirties but could be mistaken for teenagers as they climb the crumbling walls, hide in the dark ravines and use their torches to look for something – we don’t know what – free, like a pair of explorers in a soporific land.
Something has definitively, radically altered the world: the nature of things is no longer the same; a brutal shift has occurred between the fathers’ planet and that of their sons. Looking to the future, the young Sardinian director Alberto Diana examines Sulcis, the region where he grew up, rich in raw materials, the source of hard work and dashed hopes. It’s in this landscape of primitive beauty that our two protagonists evolve – thirty-something, politically active and incorrigible dreamers. Like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, they confront a kingdom that lays out its realm damaged by humankind but ready to be reborn with all the untamed pride of the wilderness. A journey with no real destination because, as the end of the film emphasises, the true story will be re-written by others as long as we’re open-minded enough to embrace new languages and new forms of society.
Programmer and critic