The white sand and deep blue sea of the Tuscan coastal town of Rosignano lure crowds of tourists every summer. The almost unnatural colors of the beach are a result of industrial pollution by the Belgian multinational Solvay. The compa- ny has been producing soda ash there since 1913. Despite repeated complaints about the toxic substances emitted by the factory, Solvay maintains that they pose no risk to human health or the environment.
Chloé Malcotti researched the story behind the Spiagge Bianche. In collaboration with a group of Rosignano residents, she made the documentary Medusa. In blinding white, the film shows three interrelated storylines: a group of teenagers stages a conversation speculating about life in the future, a medium recalls the past using the X-ray photo of a former Solvay employee, and a woman in love loses herself in memories. Throughout the film, the idyllic-looking beach surfaces, along with the hypnotic images and sounds of the factory.
In her film, Malcotti explores in image and sound the impact of twenty-first century European mass industry on the local environment and the mental landscape of the living community.
You can watch Medusa in Cinema Lumière Mechelen with the C0N10UR pass. This pass also gives you access to all other regular screenings during the biennial, up to and including Effi & Amir's By the Throat on 5 November.
(2021, 72’, Italian spoken, Dutch and English subtitles)