Hybrid / 2022 / DCP / 5.1 / 86’

The Tara is a river on the outskirts of Taranto whose waters are believed to have healing properties; bathing there is a tradition for the inhabitants of the city. Starting from this bucolic place, Volker Sattel and Francesca Bertin take us on a journey through a territory where myths clash with reality and where so-called progress has taken a heavy toll on nature and society.

with Jasmine Pisapia, Adriana Sellani, Cataldo Ranieri, Marco Tomasicchio, Vincenzo Romito
a. o.

Director, Cinematography, Script: Volker Sattel
Co-Director: Francesca Bertin
Editor: Bettina Blickwede
Production: FuFi Film Volker Sattel
World premiere Visions du Reél 2022
Language: Italian
Subtitles: English / German


The river Tara is situated at the outskirts of the Italian port city of Taranto. “River of Good Fortune” is what people call this place ridden with legends, whose waters are said to have healing and magical powers despite its being toxic. Today, Taranto is considered one of the most polluted cities in Europe due to high
levels of dioxin emissions and masses of dust emitted by a colossal steel factory, ILVA.
Through poetic and precise images, TARA explores the parallel between economic and ecological exploitation, while following people living at the margins and trying to survive in the ruins of post-capitalism. Throughout this complex landscape, we follow a young
researcher on her forays through the city.
TARA develops a polyphony of narratives and a cinematic topology of a region where Pasolini had found the setting for his film Gospel According to St. Matthew in the 1960s. The film unveils the river as a model for a never-ending precarious condition: a resistant place where faith, class-consciousness and  new relationship with nature might flourish. (Körner/Sattel)