Patrizia’s life takes place in the dark. Before sunrise, while her teenage daughters are still asleep, she puts on her heavy boots, respirator, and her “mask”. Then she enters the “cage”, an ancient elevator, and descends into a black hole 500 metres below sea level. She was 20 when her father, a miner who died last year of silicosis, accompanied her here for the first time. One can still die easily in the mines today; if firedamp, a highly flammable gas, hisses forth, one either suffocates or finds oneself buried under immense masses of rock and iron. Patrizia’s job is to keep this gas under control, and she therefore needs to walk the labyrinthine galleries, alone. Patrizia’s whole universe – her life’s experiences, her past, present and future – are enclosed in one single word: mine. In the bowels of the earth, a fearful but fascinating place in which the world is turned upside down, a place that changes the way one breathes, sees, and hears, things are in constant movement: struggles take place, feelings are born, and hopes emerge. Her newly found love, in fact, comes from underground. So as the seasons change among the ruins of the abandoned mines, patrizia guides us into most impenetrable places of the last one that’s still active, and into the souls and stories of her fellow workers.

"Like my previous efforts, from the depths stems from my desire to tell stories of extraordinary female characters in surroundings that are commonly considered male territory. In view of her personal and family background, patrizia soon became for me a model for the mining history, seen through a distinctly female lens. She’s become the medium revealing a story never told before. The fascination for the mysterious place where this story takes place – underground – made this “new viewpoint” extend also tothe visual and stylistic aspects of the project. Patrizia serves as the only link between the above and the below. Time and memory become alive within the film’s background; the impending shutdown of the mine threatens to forever erase both an extraordinary place and the stories of those who have lived there. It’s a film “in the dark”, mostly shot in the darkness of the mine, in the attempt to let the viewer sense the nostalgia for light, sun, and air, in the same way the miners sense it".
Valentina Pedicini

Valentina Pedicini
Valentina Pedicini
Valentina Pedicini
Director of photography
Jacob Stark
Film Editor
Original Music
Federico Campana
Martin Fliri
Simone Rivoire (Assistente camera)
Production Director
Antonietta Bruni
Organizzatore generale
Veronika Kaserer
Executive production
Alessandro Borrelli
Alessandro Borrelli
con il sostegno della Film Commission Torino Piemonte e della Regione Piemonte (Piemonte Doc Film Fund - Fondo regionale per il documentario - produzione giugno 2013) e con il sostegno di BLS-Business Location Südtirol-Alto Adige, FCTP, Sardegna Film Commission e in collaborazione con Rai Cinema.
Operatore steadycam
Antonietta Bruni (La Sarraz Pictures)
Last update: 18 November 2023