APPUNTI DEL PASSAGGIO

Appunti del passaggio introduces a minor perspective to the ways in which the historical phenomenon of migration from southern to northern Europe is represented today, testing the validity of History and exposing it to the first-hand accounts of those who actually made the passage. Appunti del passaggio reconstructs forgotten episodes related to migration from Italy to Switzerland in the 1960s, which was characterized by migrant workers being restricted to the sphere of production, by discrimination and rising xenophobia, and by the use of "health risks" as a strategy to control immigration and the legality of border crossings. Following the account of a young woman, which gradually gives way to a polyphonic narrative, the film concentrates on the subjective, micro dimension, and revisits different locations indicated by several protagonists who lived out this historical period from a subordinate position: villages in southern Italy which have been deserted by their inhabitants, the border zone in the Alps, the facilities of the former Grenzsanität in Brig, a modernist building used as an immigrant health inspection center until the mid-1990s. Retracing their trajectories and letting their accounts unfold, Appunti del passaggio manifests a counter-memory of the period of the “economic miracle” and exposes the logics of biopolitical control that forced the bodies of immigrant workers through intrusive health checks at the Swiss border, as well as the effects of the current border regime in this frontier zone, where arrests and deportations of migrants back to Italy are a daily occurrence.