The Shark

The Shark: The Mecnavi tragedy.

Never again.
We keep on repeating it every year, the same as on the banner the students had during the manifestation the day after, on the roads of Ravenna.
It was the 13th of March 1987
That very morning, 13 workers were carrying out extraordinary maintenance operations on the motorboat Elisabetta Montanari at the port of Ravenna.
They were working, those 13 men who were ‘hired’ through the illegal practice of ‘gangmaster’ , in the ducts under the hold, tunnels being so narrow that they had to bend on their knees, covered with expanded polyteran.
Those 13 workers, willing to work even without safety measures, folded like rats in tunnels where, with a hammer and a small chisel, they removed inch by inch the encrustations that had formed. They tapped with the stonecutter, they called them, the ‘stonecutters’, precisely because of the constant sound that their hammering produced: pic, pic, pic.
A spark was enough: it seems it was a spark from the welding that covered the tanks, to trigger a small fire. This could have been extinguished very easily with a fire extinguisher or if the minimum safety measures had been in place. Instead, suddenly, the flames burned the cover of the tunnels and immediately produced smoke, black smoke, which in a few seconds slotted in the ducts. Difficult to escape when you are bent on your feet. It is difficult to escape for a man who is folded on himself and struggles even to move.
All 13 died, suffocated. Some instantly, others in a vain attempt to escape.
This short film, born as a theatrical text, is dedicated to the port of Ravenna, to all the companies that everyday work to ensure maximum safety. It is dedicated to white deaths and accidents at work. Every day of the year we must keep the level of attention high, every day safety must come first.
Arturo Benelli is the main character of the story, a realistic character who lost a dear friend and colleague in the tragedy and who, today as then, continues to breathe, in his nightmares, that deadly smoke. It is as if, every night, a shark came to find him in his nightmares and circled around him, choking him in a deadly grip.
In front of a stunned and speechless city, silent because of the atrocious drama that had happened, the outrage condemnation of the then Bishop of Ravenna, Monsignor Ersilio Tonini, rose loud. In front of the 13 coffins, in the Metropolitan Cathedral, he heavily denounced the inhuman conditions of certain categories of workers, defining them ‘men who are treated like mice’.
The short movie is created on the 34th anniversary of the tragedy.

  • Paul Bompart
  • Eugenio Sideri
  • Eugenio Sideri
  • Aps Lady Godiva Teatro
  • Les Bompart Produzioni
  • Enrico Caravita
    Key Cast
    "Arturo Benelli"
  • Carlo Garavini
    Key Cast
    "Mons. Ersilio Tonini"
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Lo squalo
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  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 26 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 10, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 EUR
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Ravenna Nightmare film fest XIX ed.
    November 3, 2021
    Ravenna Nightmare film fest XIX ed.
    Showcase Emilia Romagna
Director - Paul Bompart, Eugenio Sideri