The working class no longer goes to heaven

original title:

QUANDO COMBATTONO GLI ELEFANTI

directed by:

screenplay:

country:

Italy

year:

2009

film run:

93'

format:

colour

release date:

08/05/2009

On August 15, 2008, the company which manages the Italian railway system sacked, for the second time, the driver and delegate for safety Dante De Angelis for having publicly revealed the risks of high speed trains. Such is the paradoxical end of this film which, besides the story of Dante's first dismissal, tells of the struggles of Italian railway workers cast off by the state and by their unions and compelled to work without regulation: continual shift cycles, fatal accidents, dismissal for those who dare speak out on television or refuse to drive unsafe trains. This is the long shadow of privatization: deaths which are photocopies of those described in Ken Loach's prestigious film on railways "The Navigators" while company managers with seven-figure salaries play in real life with real lives just like the old hobbyist does with his model trains. The precarious situation of the railway workers parallels the conditions of an adolescent subjected to the deaf choices of parents, as in the case of Lessyta, the 15 year-old black student who refuses to leave her house by the railway tracks where she was born and raised.