The Remnants

DIRECTOR(S): Paolo Barberi, Riccardo Russo   COUNTRIES: Italy, Switzerland   YEAR: 2017   LANGUAGE(S): Lao, English   SUBTITLES: English   RUNNING TIME: 72 min

SECTION: International Forum 2019


Sunday, 06.10., 6.45 pm, kommkino
Tuesday, 08.10., 3.15 pm, kinoeins


What is the most heavily bombed country in History? A country that never formally entered a war, Laos. Between 1964 and 1973, during the Vietnam war, the American air force carried out over 500.000 bombing missions over Laos, dropping more than 2 million tons of explosives over the country.
Forty years later, everything has changed in Laos, but people’s lives are still deeply affected by the omnipresence of war remnants, scattered in cultivated fields, forests, villages and even cities. The unexploded ordnance now represents a danger and a resource: the bombs that have made, since the end of the war, more than 22.000 victims, have been transformed into troughs for animals, water tanks, flower pots, fences, scales, mothproof columns for traditional stilt houses. The bombers’ fuel tanks are still turned into boats, projectiles become anvils for traditional forge shops, all kinds of metal are converted into utensils or building material for industrial foundries.
THE REMNANTS is a journey into the contradictions of today’s wars, in which the remains of the conflict always outlive the conflict itself. It is a journey into the culture and spirituality of a people that manages to incorporate good and evil, construction and destruction, and to convert killing objects into handy tools to tackle everyday life.


Paolo Barberi, a visual anthropologist and documentarist, has released several documentaries in Italy and worldwide with a particular focus on indigenous populations. Founding member of the association of researchers and filmmakers Esplorare la Metropoli (ELM), Barberi is also research associate at the University of Ferrara where he teaches Media Studies.

 A geographer and filmmaker, Riccardo Russo holds a PhD in Human Geography with a specialization in multimedia for human rights. He has realized several internationally released documentaries focusing on socio-environmental issues on five continents. They have been shown at film festivals and broadcast on numerous television networks.


Paolo Barberi & Ricardo Russo

The Well: Water Voices from Ethiopia (2011), The Remnants (2017)

SCRIPT: Flaminio Cozzaglio, Paolo Barberi, Riccardo Russo   PRODUCERS: Tiziana Soudani, Vittoria Fiumi, Silvana Bezzola, Federico Schiavi   CAMERA: Riccardo Russo, Paolo Barberi   EDITOR: Simone Manetti   MUSIC: Tundraman  

PRODUCTION: Amka Films, Fiumi Film, RSI – Radiotelevisione svizzera, Doc/it Associazione Documentaristi Italiani, Nacne, Sas   WORLD SALES: Tijana Djukic, Taskovski Films Ltd.