Meet the journalist who thinks there is hope in the continent
Former London correspondent for L’Espresso magazine and La7 TV, Annalisa Piras has just directed, produced and written the documentary The Great European Disaster Movie, a dystopian scenario set in post-Europe. The Great European Disaster Movie was shown as part of CinemaItaliaUK. Her previous documentary, also in collaboration with Bill Emmott, was Girlfriend in A Coma (2013).
Peter Hitchens called your last documentary “blatant propaganda” pro-Europe. How would you respond to that charge? Why are anti-EU opinions in the UK always deemed to be just respectable opinions, while a film on the EU exploring how the present crisis came about is vilified as dangerous ‘propaganda’? I suspect that one reason why British europhobes are so upset might be because it is the first time that a film offers robust criticism of the EU while proposing constructive reforms.
If you were Prime Minister for a week, what would you do? I would double the budget for education and research, and make super free fast broadband available everywhere. I would then send the bill to the telecom multinationals which currently are paying almost no taxes in the UK.
What would you say to a UKIP or LE PEN voter? Your grievances are real but they will not be solved by the easy fixes that populists and nationalists tend to fall back on.
What is the main difference between Italian and British journalism? Peer pressure in British journalism often seems to help standards upwards. In Italy peer pressure often brings standards down. Having said that, Italian journalism, at its best, has more cultural depth.
Next project? I guess that to complete the trilogy the third doc has got to be on the world.
Why did you leave Italy? I left to broaden my professional experience abroad. Then the crisis of traditional journalism made the media landscape difficult everywhere, particularly in Italy.
Do you plan to go back one day?
If there were the right conditions, why not? I would love to spend more time in Sardinia – where my father was born.
Earliest London memory? Admiring Henry Moore sculptures at the Serpentine Gallery when I was 13. It was the beginning of a life-long love story.
Home is..? I have been living in the East End since I first arrived in London 18 years ago. It was then, in my view, the most vibrant part of the city, now it has become on of the largest technology start-up cluster in the world. I would not live anywhere else in London .