Sotto il sole nero
35mm - colour
festivals & awards:
Sergio was born and bred in a working class district in the outskirts of Turin. He lives a life without a future. He dreams of escaping, of being anywhere but here. All of a sudden he suddenly finds himself with no house and no money, and this leads Sergio to discover a whole new world, just a few kilometres away from where he’s always lived. The area is in the city centre, the lively and bustling ghetto populated by third world immigrants: it’s called San Salvario.
To earn a bit of cash, he goes into business with a former prostitute from Nigeria, Judy, a Senegalese rapper, Badu, and a very young Moroccan boy who’s just arrived in Italy, Ralmi. Together they produce videos of fake broadcasts by a TV channel that doesn’t exist: The Black Soul Channel. The programmes are hilarious parodies of our television (the election of Miss Nigeria in Italy, specials on “Black Glamour” fashion, music videos of “maroc - n - roll” etc). All the stars of these shows are the immigrants from the area. They are keen to buy the tapes and send them back home, as a means of showing their inexistent success, their dream, which is a long way off from the reality of daily life in a European metropolis.
The tapes are an instant success, but problems crop up between the four business partners.
Sergio falls in love with Judy, but he then discovers she is forcing her sister, Jennifer, to prostitute herself. After a huge row, Sergio leaves her. Jennifer tries to free herself from the clutches of her sister, but the confrontation between the two women ends with Judy being murdered.
Ralmi is caught up between his wish to live honestly, as commanded by the Muslim religion, and the desire to earn some quick cash. He ends up being arrested for selling drugs and is threatened with extradition. Badu abandons Sergio in his hour of need, as he is suddenly made the political representative of the Senegalese community. Through this role, Badu becomes a minor star, representing immigrants, on a real TV station.
Sergio stays in the district where he learnt about love and diced with death.
Now he’s neither Italian nor African, but an impenetrable mixture of the two. After his moment of glory he enjoyed thanks to the videos, he’s happy to be an assistant in a brightly coloured shop selling African clothes. After being obsessed by the idea of running away, in the end he’s the only one to stay, because he has finally found himself, and his new world.