Chirumbolo Studies in Documentary Film

Chirumblodoc film

Paolo Chirumbolo. From heaven to hell: The representation of the ThyssenKrupp tragedy in contemporary Italian documentary film-making. Taylor Francis Online, 2011.


This essay focuses on the following documentaries: Simona Ercolani’s La classe operaia va all’inferno/The Working Class Goes to Hell (2008), Pietro Balla and Monica Repetto’s ThyssenKrupp Blues (2008) and Mimmo Calopresti’s La fabbrica dei tedeschi/The Germans’ Factory (2008). The three works portray what happened inside the ThyssenKrupp plant in Turin on 6 December 2007, when seven steel factory workers died after a deadly fire. To properly examine these documentaries, and to better account for their structural organization and narrative strategies, I employ Bill Nichols’ theory on the different modes of representation in documentary film-making as discussed in his Representing Reality: Issues and Concepts in Documentary. Following Nichols theory, I classify Ercolani’s documentary as expository, Balla and Repetto’s as observational and Calopresti’s as interactive.