The film exposes the wonders and horrors of Sardinia and seeks accountability for the ruthless exploitation of the island’s resources, environmental beauty and deep social customs and traditions.
Despite being renowned as the “Maldives of Italy”, the southern Italian island has a much darker story to tell.
It’s a story which most of the world – including Italy – is unaware of, and which Ms Camillo wants to make heard after four years of hard work and dedication.
The IIC was packed with people on Tuesday, among them journalists and prominent figures within the Italian community in Melbourne, all curious to learn about Sardinia’s secrets.
Ms Camillo thanked the Italian Network of Melbourne (NOMIT) and the Sardinian Cultural Association, who organised the event in collaboration with IIC president Laura Napolitano, and IL GLOBO journalist Riccardo Schirru, who interviewed the director on the evening.
A special thank you was sent to Ms Camillo via Skype, from Gian Piero Scanu, the president of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry “Depleted Uranium”.
Ms Camillo then went on to explain what inspired the documentary: having spent a long time working as an anthropologist studying the ideas of attachment to the land and one’s roots among Indigenous communities, she felt the inspired to return to her home in Sardinia.
She decided to make a documentary on Sardinia, focusing on the Emerald Coast.
As she began listening to the stories of locals and gathering information and documentation, Ms Camillo began to unearth a startling truth: around 500,000 Sardinians had abandoned their homes.
And so the question arose: what had caused this mass exodus?
Sardinia is dotted with NATO military bases which were established after World War II – in fact, more than 60 per cent of Italy’s NATO bases are located on the island.
Over the years, these bases have been used to test bombs and missiles containing depleted uranium and other dangerous substances, causing their surroundings to become toxic territory and making them unliveable.
Having made this shocking discovery, Ms Camillo decided to abandon her initial project and invest her time and energy into a documentary/part exposé which she hopes will prompt a social movement which gives a voice to the Sardinian people.
In fact, once it’s finished, the documentary will be shown around the world, including at major film festivals from Venice and Cannes to Tribeca and Sundance.
Assisted by experts such as Dr Antonietta Gatti, Ms Camillo collected an array of data, from cases of leukaemia and other serious illnesses and deformities among people and animals in areas surrounding the NATO bases, to traces of depleted uranium on corpses similar to that which was found on bodies in war zones such as Bosnia, Afghanistan and Syria.
The aim of the documentary is to condemn those responsible for the tragedies which have occurred as a result of exposure to depleted uranium, and bring to light an issue which has gone unnoticed by most of the world.
The ultimate goal is to have NATO bases removed from Sardinian territory.
During his speech via Skype, Mr Scanu mentioned the law established in 2007, which calls for the transparency of military bases, in particular in Capo Teulada and Salto di Quirra, home to the biggest operating military bases in Europe since the world wars and never remediated since then.
Lisa Camillo’s commitment to unearthing the truth about Sardinia’s NATO bases continues today, as she both inspires and empowers Sardinians to unite and take back their decisional power.
Visit the website to help Lisa Camillo and her team finish the film and save Sardinia.