Ferrania is a place, a factory, a brand known all over the world which, for decades, made the history of the still and moving image in Italy. but Ferrania, today, is a wasteland where numerous former workers of the facility live, in search of a new direction.
The story of Ferrania, the film factory installed in a small town of the hinterland in Liguria, turned 100 years old. It is, at once, the story of a huge facility, a society, a brand and a territory: an entire valley involved in the chemistry of photosensitivity generations of men and women who, in the dark, crafted film rolls, film reels, X-rays, printing plates. A technologically advanced factory, enclosed within liberty buildings, surrounded by workers’ towns, crossed by the Bormida river and touched by the railway, immersed in the Adelasia woods.
From the installation in the Ferrania hamlet of an explosives factory in 1915, through Fascism, the long period marked by Eng. Luigi Schiatti directorship, the takeover by the American 3M, the union struggles, the speculations and the mistakes, in the end we get to the dereliction state, almost lunar, where the main characters of the film move around and where, despite it all, there are still business activities trying to start again.
AAMOD - Archivio Audiovisivo del Movimento Operaio e Democratico, Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia - Archivio Ivrea, Home Movies - Archivio Nazionale del Film di Famiglia (collection project 'Ferrania a memoria'), Istituto Luce, RAI