Direction : Hugues Le Paige
58 min
Betcam Sp
O.V. french
S.V. english
© 1996



They arrived in Belgium at the star of the 50s. They were three of four years old : their fathers were minors, who were enlisted in the « Battle for Coal », declared by a country that had too few volunteers to take on the hell of the pits. Their childhood memories were marked by the fear of accidents and disasters. A man and a woman : Toni’s family came from Sicily, Serafina’s from Sardinia. Today they are no longer truly Italian, and yet not quite Belgian. Quite apart from nationalities, they are first and foremost , deeply attached to their adoptive region (the central area, Hainaut) despite its run-down economic state. New citizens with more than one facet to their identity, they tell their story of immigration and integration. She teaches history, he is a cultural activities organizer : they each in their own way keep alive an active memory, far removed from nostalgia.

Through archive material (which also sheds light on the « Italian » viewpoint on emigration), narrative passages, landscapes, moments taken from a community’s collective self-expression and, above all, trough the testimony of Serafina and Toni, this film attempts to show how keeping memory alive can also be a powerful means of confronting reality.

Data Sheet

  • Direction : Hugues Le Paige
  • Script : Hugues Le Paige & Andrea Réa
  • Image : Michel Boulogne
  • Sound : Thierry Feret
  • Editing : Anne de Jaer
  • Mixing : Michel Hanquet
  • Musc : Guy Dusart
  • Production manager : Véronique Marit
  • Associate producer : Luc Dardenne
  • Production : Dérives


  • RTBF - Departement Documentaire
  • ARTE - Belgique

With the help of the "Communauté française de Belgique", the "Région Wallonne" and the support of the "Commission Européenne". 

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