Directed by: Luca Vullo, Executive production: Ondemotive productions, Italy, 53′ film, 2008, Rights: World
‘From sulphur to coal’ is a social anthropological film on the forced migratory phenomenon that came as a consequence of the 1946 Italo-Belgian Pact. Exploring the life of Italian miners, mainly from Sicily, in Belgium. Workers were sent from post-war Italy that struggled with unemployment and poverty to work in the Belgian coal mines as young as 12. The film uncovers what they went through in candid interviews with the now elderly men and their wives that left their hometowns to work in terrible conditions in the mines. These men were exploited and there was a total lack of safety they suffered deep down in the dark, hot, dusty mines but from the sufferance comes a sense of solidarity.
A historical-social portrait that Luca Vullo traces by retracing the salient moments that led millions of young Sicilians to slavery: lack of work, the problem of emigration, exploitation, lack of security at work, integration and loss of identity. Current themes that the young director brings us to re-live in his journey through the bowels of the earth, with an eye to the past, when the Italians sold by their country for a sack of coal, became black demons, prisoners, in the hell of the mines, where the darkness is heavier and heavier and the silence deafens thoughts.
It was the most award-winning documentary of 2008 in Italy and it was nominated for the Globo D’oro in 2009 it was part of the “David di Donatello” competition.