February 2009. A group of workers who have been put on welfare from the company Vinyls occupy the prison on Asinara. They demand the re-opening of the factories. They ask to be allowed to continue to work. To begin with, it is a desperate battle, an extreme protest. Then little by little, the world becomes aware of those men lost on their desert island, prisoners in an abandoned jail: an article in a newspaper, a report on the news, their blog which grows. And then Facebook, interviews, broadcasts, and increasingly important television programmes. A traditional trade union battle becomes visible thanks to non-traditional fighting methods. But what really happens on that island? Months go by. A year goes by. The factories remained closed. It seems that nothing has changed. In reality everything has changed. Above all, they have changed. Those men are no longer only workers who do their jobs. They have lived together, suffered together and hoped together, and they have had fun together. Their struggle has become a great human adventure. It has changed them, enriched them, exhausted them. The intense and violent landscape of the island surrounds them, the blinding white washed walls of the prison, the sudden darkness of the winter evenings, the seasons which pass. The affections, emotions, the hopes. “Those who fight might lose, those who don’t fight have already lost.“ – they repeat it every day, they will never tire. –Venice Film Festival
Silver Lion for Cai Shangjun (People Mountain People Sea). Acting awards for Michael Fassbender and Deanie Ip.