When we first started thinking about this film in early 2018, Lorenzo Fioramonti was a professor for Political Economy in South Africa, who had given up his job, in order to get involved in Italian politics. He knew very little about the inside of politics, but the “5 Star Movement” had invited him to join their ranks — to become a member of parliament and, potentially, a Minister in the next Italian government. What happened next is hard to summarise. And our film will need to do that job.
What matters to us right now is that you can never know, in documentary film-making, what happens to your protagonists. Sometimes nothing happens at all, to the extent that you realise that you may not even have a film.
And sometimes you get lucky and your protagonist does things that make a difference, that effect change, that have an impact.
Last week, we witnessed Lorenzo making global impact. His plan to introduce climate change education in Italy as a mandatory subject for school children created ripples around the world – after he spoke to Reuters about this plan (who also called him the “Anti-Salvini” in their article), media outlets everywhere picked it up, from Australia to the Netherlands. The New York Times ran a longer article about him and his ideas. CNN reached out. He gave radio interviews to stations in various parts of the world. A German paper praised Lorenzo as a role model for German politicians.
Over the weekend, Lorenzo told us that he got invitations to speak at conferences, he spoke with other ministers in the EU who approached him and want to do something similar in their countries, he even got an invitation to meet the Pope.
When I first heard about Lorenzo and his plan to bring post-GDP thinking to a G7 country like Italy, I thought “this sounds like a very interesting project. And a very interesting guy.” Turns out that has been a major understatement – on both accounts.
And today, we sure are glad to be part of this ride.