To the south of Messina, October 25, 2007, is a day like any other, warmed by the last embers of the Sicilian summer. The palpitations and geometries that for years have broken up the rhythm of daily life are suddenly shaken by a meso-cyclone which causes damage and destruction, though no victims. This is just the prelude to the tragedy of October 1, 2009.
It is late afternoon. In the sleepy atmosphere of their home, a granddad is dozing next to his eight-year-old granddaughter, who fearfully watches the sky fill with menacing clouds. Hell breaks loose and this time the violence of the storm is much greater. When it’s over, there are 31 victims and six people missing. Aid. The wounded and dead under mountains of mud and debris. State funerals. Solidarity, disputes. The merry-go-round of blame. Figures are thrown around and declarations are made by technical staff and politicians. Everyone’s responsible, nobody’s to blame. After a year and eight months, nothing’s changed. The disfigured villages still bear the double scars of death and abandonment. The film ends with the news on TV about the umpteenth deluge in the same battered areas. It is March 2011, around the time that the national government blocks its funding for Sicily.