Roberto Minervini grew up in Italy, but has lived for more than 10 years in the American South, where he became acquainted with 'the other side': the America of deeply religious Christian communities, armed militias with deep-rooted hatred of central government, and the forgotten masses for whom life is a daily struggle dominated by poverty, unemployment and addiction. He recorded their reality sharply and beautifully in Stop the Pounding Heart (2015) and The Other Side (2015), films on the boundary between feature and documentary.
For What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? he submerged himself in the lives of Afro-Americans in Louisiana and Mississippi. From more than 100 hours of material, he edited a poetic and worrying portrait in contrasty black and white. Minervini talks about making the film and how he tried to integrate into the surroundings of his protagonists in order to get as close as possible to their truth.