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Moira Jean Sullivan

Moira Sullivan is a member of FIPRESCI and Alliance for Women Film Journalists. She writes for three venues:



World Premiere of Abel Ferrara’s out of competition film 'Piazza Vittorio'

The World Premiere of Abel Ferrara’s out of competition film Piazza Vittorio at the Venice Film Festival (Sept 9) is an evocative document on one of Rome’s most beloved squares in Esquilino, the XV "rione" or district. Ferrara shows how the area has developed since the last century with historic footage. The open-air markets of that time were packed with people who sold fruit, vegetable, bread, cheese and meat. This kind of market is disappearing and in the case of Piazza Vittorio has now moved indoors.  It still is a public meeting place that attracts people who congregate, meet and exchange services - Italians and immigrants alike.

Ferrara, whose grandfather was Italian, is like many of the immigrants in the film trying to make a living in Rome. What is most astonishing about Piazza Vittorio are the stories of migrant workers and immigrants who come to Italy to work and can’t find employment. They come from countries rich in natural resources  in Africa, Asia, or South America that have been exploited by western countries. They are unable to survive in their own countries because of this usurpation of their livelihood.

The documentary is an excellent first-hand illustration of the effects of globalization of goods and services with these stories of several immigrants. Italian activists explain how companies seeking to find cheap labor have moved from their own countries to take advantage of areas where there are no unions to protect workers and lax environmental protection. Italians are interviewed who either don’t mind that there are illegal and legal immigrants, or those who are upset by their existence. There are those too who think that the Italians should be taken care of first and then immigrants.

There is a rich sampling of individuals who tell their story. This documentary takes an historically important district of Rome to illustrate how the global economy has negatively affected human resources worldwide. Abel Ferrara is often shown in the documentary playing basketball or talking to children and immigrants. The overall collection of stories, interviews, historic footage and message makes this an invaluable document of our time.