Italian and Chinese
Middle LandsFavourite Sara's homework for summer holidays is to grow and take care of a little tomato seedling. But her family lives in a flat, so she will plant it in a small vegetable garden that her grandparents raised in an abandoned and hidden land between town and countryside.
The idea of the film is the tip of the iceberg of an etnographic and visual research led in the last years. It is the output of a series of traces, experiences, sensations, listened and imagined stories that take place in the urban-sprawled area of Veneto region of Italy.
The research intends to pay attention to the spatial and relational dynamics that affect the margins, understood as interstitial spaces, in this case segments of the "third landscape", spaces that they are usually not considered as identifying and invested with meaning, often invisible places. Sometimes, however, it seems precisely the suspended, hybrid and indecisive status of these spaces to welcome - and in a certain sense reflect - liminal situations, becoming a sort of laboratory and alternative space for relationships: some of these spaces are "adopted" and by individuals or groups are grafted onto them, which activate processes of re-signification, re-appropriation, re-qualification, tracing some points of a new one phenomenology of care. The short film aims to tell one of this experience and how it relates to the surrounding context.
- The Chinese female workforce responds perfectly to the logic of industrial production of modern mushroom farms. In particular, the qualities that are appreciated by employers are those of dexterity, precision, speed, resistance to effort, large availability to work and flexibility. Furthermore, “they are not very unionized”.
It can be said that the demand for Chinese labor is deeply embedded with the characteristics of the food industry and scale-economies: it constitutes a relatively low-cost, easily replaceable, non-unionized and "silent" labor force, which it allows high and constant production levels, which in turn allow to reduce consumer prices.
Shooting a short film allowed me to speak almost freely about these delicate issues.
It was a great challenge because both the cast and the crew were Italian-Chinese, in order to live a multicultural and exchange experience. It also was not so easy to find a mushroom farm who allowed us to film.