The Roya and Durance valleys between Italy and France have belonged to one or the other country over the course of the last centuries. It is through these valleys that refugees, in search of a safe haven and a better life, attempt to cross after being turned back at the Franco-Italian where police and customs officers patrol.
A group of valley people, faced with the refugees' dismay and suffering, offered them food, a place to rest and helped them with transportation. Their human gesture, however, put them at risk, because it was against the law. Although we are required to assist any person in danger, these days, that seems to imply any documented person in danger - anything else is punishable by law.
So, for their own protection, the valley people decided to make their actions public. But this attracted the attention of the police and the media and ended up making things more dangerous for both the refugees and their helpers and it had a profound impact on their family life and their work.
"The Valley" is a character-driven film focusing on the personal stories of ordinary men and women who, caught in an impossible and legally complex situation, struggle to keep a sense of their own personal ethics to do what is right and to simply act in the name of solidarity.
Photography: Nikolaus von Schlebrügge
Editing: Beatrice Segolini
Supported by: IDM Südtirol-Alto Adige, Public Senat, RDI/SRC, Autonome Provinz Bozen - Deutsche Kultur