Director: Michele Pennetta Cinematography: Paolo Ferrari Sound: Edgar Iacolenna Sound Editing: Orsola Valenti Producers: Joëlle Bertossa - Close Up Films | Giovanni Pompili - Kino produzioni

With the support of Rai Cinema and RSI Radiotelevisione svizzera Project selected at MIA 2016

Status: Editing


In the heart of Sicily lie the remains of old time mines; its inhabitants call it “Terrapelata”, literally Baldland, as proof that nothing can grow there, it’s lifeless, like themselves. Out of town there is an unauthorised campsite populated with immigrants. Living surrounded by debris and junk, these immigrants outlive the locals, shockingly careless of their future, with no hopes. Through the portrayal of Adama, illegal immigrant who explores the old mines in search for sulfur and buried crystals, and Thomas and Matteo, up and coming junk shop managers who just came out of prison, Terrapelata is a dive into Sicily’s visceral depths.


Terrapelata is the third part of a trilogy about Sicily’s out-of-the-law situations. The film originates from the multiple points of view of its characters and it’s an attempt to uncover the state of neglect of an entire region, devastated by pollution, which is a direct consequence of the lack of grip of the Italian and European authorities.

The stories and the characters presented in the film are rendered in a consciously impressionistic fashion. It’s neither a reportage nor a documentary in the classic sense, therefore it does not attempt to present a complete overview of a far more complex situation. It’s a dive into the lives of the people that in reaction to the abandonment by the State and its institutions, have found ways to survive outside of the system, through rules that they themselves decided.

Through my gaze I refuse to judge who is a victim and who is responsible. I try to enhance the complexities of the situation in order to raise questions about the institutional and individual responsibilities regarding their every-day life choices”. Michele Pennetta