Terra Incognita is a documentary devoted to political ecology and the scientific progress in use of energy. It explores the main topic of post-atomic energetic transition, melting with the "kosmos" theory of Alexander von Humboldt. The result is a tripartite narration of the European landscape in between Italy, France and Germany. The documentary follows the history of nuclear research: the initial euphoria from the 50's to the 70's, the growing doubt started in the ‘80s until the present scenario, established by the nuclear incident of Fukushima and the german decision to abandon the nuclear path. The experimental editing portrays interconnections between the european models and assembles an imagery made of home movies, film libraries and contemporary shootings. There's a cultural and technological clash within the environment described by Terra Incognita: the switch from a nuclear age towards the awareness of the Anthropocene's impact.

After working for nearly ten years on the impact of Mega Events, I felt the need to take a further step towards the environmental issue as a great laboratory of the future. I approached the theme of nuclear power, as an allegory of the conflict between man and nature, which had in Italy and especially in Piedmont, important connections with industrial development in the second half of the twentieth century, as well as representing one of the highest challenges of technology. The theme of nuclear power becomes a way to talk about the scientific horizon that our civilization is building, linking a historical documentary to a documentary of creation, based on what the geographer Farinelli called the “auroral impression”, starting from the work of Alexander von Humboldt, last explorer of a possible universal knowledge. His theory of the cosmos, which combines discernment of nature and study of the border between visible and invisible is a forerunner of a global vision.

Enrico Masi
Enrico Masi
Enrico Masi, Tino Brömme
Director of photography
Stefano Croci
Film Editor
Adrien Faucheux
Original Music
Giulia Barba, Teresio Testa
Jacopo Bonora
Altri credits

Maria Terranova (Ricerche d'archivio, assistente al montaggio); Alessandro Lancellotti (Assistente alla regia, referente materiali d'archivio)

Cast and characters

Barbara Curli, Pierre Fournier, Ortwin Renn, Franco Farinelli

Production Director
Rosanna D'Aloisio
Organizzatore generale
Enrico Carnuccio
Stefano Migliore, Loïs Rocque
con il sostegno di Film Commission Torino Piemonte - Piemonte Doc Film Fund - sviluppo giugno 2020