Det, ባሕር, ծرոحվب , mari, more, 海, ים, mer, mhuir, θάλα σσα, सम ु, sjó, farraige, mare, sjø, mar, море, deniz, sea, badda, …

What is the sea to us? A hostile element which is strange to us but which occupies 2⁄3 of the surface of the planet on which we live? An enormous space just to contemplate? A resource to exploit in uncontrolled way? or should it represent something more?

It’s Dawn, and here we are perched on a rock at Chiessi, the furthest and wildest point of the island of Elba.
From here, just before they disappear over the horizon, we can see Corsica, Pianosa and the little known island of Montecristo.

Here one inhales a kind of ancestral force while the cyclic rhythm of the waves throbs under one’s skin.
Soon Lionel and Pierluigi will entrust themselves to the sea yet again. Today they will descend into the deep to free a sea turtle (caretta-caretta), which had been wounded by a boat propeller and nursed at the highland’s veterinary centre. Then as if it were normal they point directly towards the west. They will have to cross again in the open sea without wet suits.

Yes because Lionel and Pierluigi stop being the island’s strangest postman and a dental technician, they swim.
They swim to save biodiversity, they swim against indiscriminate fishing and the exploitation of sea resources, to fight against property speculation, they swim how during the long Corsica to Isola d’Elba trip to engage the media attention on these topics or they swim to show solidarity towards thousands of emigrants who all too often find their death in that very same sea, to unite, to promote interest …or simply the swim just to spread a message.

The exceptional aspect of these challenges (which have not escaped the notice of worldwide mass communication) is not so much the sporting implications as their incredible relationship with the sea.
“Honestly, we are not interested in records, on the contrary, we only wish to stay at sea for as long as possible because the sea is our teacher, and we learn by swimming” – Lionel murmurs while he remembers hours of synchronized fluid movements in the water. Swimming, in fact, becomes almost a mind of meditation, a way to be aware and conscious of the need to be united with the world of nature to which we belong a way to save it”

After months of preparation, they now want to raise the bar risking their own safety they are planning their last effort before to melt into the sea.
A kind of relay race across the mediterranean to show us throw their own disenchanted poetry all the contradictions of our time. Their “soft raids” as they love to define it, will bring us in front of a libian’s plastic beach or in the Otranto Channel where the Ilva factory effect is still obvious: and then Lampedusa, Montecristo, Follonica and its intensive fish farming, Marsiglia until Portofino bay. Here avoiding hundreds of yachts they approach to the beach to have a rest in the midst of a noisy, inert crowd smelling of sunscreen. May be someone will ask them and may be they will answer that all the anchors of those ships year after year are destroying a small plant called Posidonia, a plant which exists only in the mediterranean sea and “that the horrible consequences could be subject of a book…but we swim and you?”

By following the adventures of these noble and visionary Don Quijote and Sancho Panza of the sea, we will discover their world. Places such as island roads, small ports, beaches, bars and schools gymnasiums up to scientific laboratories where their message takes shape and becomes the tool for debate and change;

Following two normal people who do something exceptional every day we will meet their fellow citizens divided between supporters and who tease them and crowds of tourists that in the summertime invade the island, and who fight silently with the scientific weapons: the battle for the safeguard of the sea. Their eccentric battle will be reinforced by the pragmatism of the researchers of the study centre of whales in the mediterranean and of the institute of ecology and biology of Piombino.

Gradually, in an ever growing number of life histories a microcosm of conflicts, dreams, small dayley challenges, will emerge. A microcosm which instead of shouting at the ecological change will change the world silently.


The world is full of mad dreamers but PierLuigi Costa and Lione Cardin are special dreamers like those whose restlessness and joy of living transform dreams into action. There is a very strong mutual understanding between them. Something indestructible born in the sea. They are swimmers and to them the very word has a magical meaning. For them, every single thing seems to come and go thanks to the sea.

was born in Chiessi, a small fisherman’s village on the West coast of the island of Elba. He was born in the house where he still lives, in a storage closet in the backyard which now has become the place for the washing machine, he tells us laughing. He works on the island as a postman, just in the morning; in the afternoon he swims and enjoys the sun in his office, Chiessi’s rocks. From there he shares his connection with the sea with the people he meets, telling them about the adventures he lived with Lionel during their crossings across the sea. Pierluigi has a simple but deep soul and he is able to communicate this depth in a direct and captivating way. But he is also a twilight poet. after years passed by sea caused he needs to disappear as often says “ to pass the ball and little by little come back to be a drop in the water”.
was born in Rochefort, a village on the atlantic coast of France, in front of the Island of Oleron.
He subsequently moved to Saint Malo in Bretagna and then to Cannes. After having experienced all three Franch seas, deserting from the French army and rebuilt a complicated relationship with his father (he was an active member during the Mururoa Atomic test, personally bombing the atoll) he decided to move definitely to the island of Elba, where he works as a dental technician. In 2013 after a motorbike accident he suffered the amputation of part of his right leg because of a severe infection.
This unfortunate incident has not stopped his activity in the sea, and if anything it encourages him to renewed incentives.
This determination and perseverance are part of his character.

The diversity of their character is reflected also in the matters which they support: Lionel is more caring of the environment pollution, climate protection and the respect for our ecosystem. Pierluigi, instead, by his nature more oriented to a spiritual approach with the sea, highlights the introspective and symbolic value of the swim on the high sea, as an instrument which allows us to contact our true nature, to emerge as better individuals and regenerated.


Why should two “men” feel the need, the call to save creatures from the sea, and why not, the whole of the sea? Risking those waters to enter into direct, physically profound contact with those creatures and in those elements?
It is difficult to answer those questions without seeming trivial. So, the intimate intention which has led us to tackle this story is that of building up a veritable mythopoiesis by means of Lionel and Pierluigi’s “exploits”.

A contemporary myth capable of expressing relevant themes, archetypes, meanings, eternal symbols from an ecological point of view.
To reuse and update the power of the myth to expound a message, using a language both allegorical and universal which can be understood by everyone (in its varied forms).

The modern hero, like those from ancient times, crosses the sea – the archetype of our subconscious – all alone during the night, is swallowed up only to resurface, as does the sun every day, regenerated by that very same sea.
In order to be able to save the “external sea”, one must first confront the “internal sea” that is, our subconscious. That is what our two swimmers have been doing constantly over the past years. They have been facing up to their fears, weaknesses, egoisms. They leave “the monster’s navel” to emerge renewed, aware, reborn. However, water is the element from which life, as we know it, springs.

A message which is both redeeming and ecological, expressed quietly and without rhetoric and the use of slogans, not the fruits of studies carried out by experts in green washing.
The sea allows one to enter in a dimension where judgement and finalities do not exist. Pierluigi often says that the biggest gift that the sea can give you is to make you feel small. Pierluigi and Lionel don’t want to appeal to us with easy solutions or promises but the want to show us the way to start again: to descend in the abyss, face up to it, and return better inside oneself. Only in this way something can really change. And something in the little tuscan archipelago is already starting to change.


The narrative style of the movie will be between an observation and an artistic documentary with some mises en scene / some staging, great care being given to the photographic and symbolic composition of the underwater images, amongst others.

The beauty of the sea, the discovery of its splendor but also the terror which it can arouse will be the visual lite motive of the film. A Skimming flight on its surface and a dive into its depths where their physical efforts and their challenges will be described by a scenic presentation which wants to be totally involving and cinematographic, far from the usual sporting description of swimming we used. A physical nearness which is able to restore, on one side the effort and the beauty of a natural movement that of a man immersed in the sea, on the other side, the fierce and the peace full face of our sea, its being more secret and true which fascinates, embraces and often refuses.

To break the tale, short oniric sequences, as if they were a projections of our character’s dream and fragments of the common unconsciousness.
We will literally dive into a black allegorical sea leaded by the hieratic and fascinating underwater installation of Jason deCaires Taylor or by sequences from archives about forbidden fishing, rubbish, intensive breeding oil spreads, rubbish dumping.

To the rest of the movie observational approach allow us to spontaneously capture lived life with a minimum of intervention in the relationship between man and the sea
Any declaration, comment or spontaneous consideration made by our two heroes out at sea will be picked up – perhaps when they are taking a rest whilst tied to a buoy or during a pause on the little support boat – and added to what emerges spontaneously during the shooting of their preparations for the journey, which will also yield the daily, ‘normal’ elements of our messengers’ lives.

From the narrative point of view, the observation of the daily life will be the key to penetrate into the social and emotive tissue of a community. Because round these two eccentrics Islanders, leave many souls probably sample but able to accept a change. Like a researcher from cetus who secretly hopes to learn the whale’s language, like and ex fisherman who with his boat follows Lionel and Pier during their training and who has started a personal battle against cruising companies, or like the guardian of the island of Pianosa who stops everybody to approach the coast. then we have the young “sea workers” who are sent to the seabed (by the biological marine centre every two months) armed with oxygen cylinder and tools to replant and move Posidonia Marina.

All of these fragments will be put together like a magnet by the charisma of the two protagonist and will compose not a linear story but a cyclic one like the tides which takes place round a unique element scenery: the sea.


The experience in nepal during the work on our last production “Waste Mandala” has strengthened in us the will to face up to and deepen ecological themes with a new point of view and a new sensibility.
Films that denounce and report are not our style and they don’t reflect the basic values of our professional form and artistic aims. both of them are different approaches that make aware of environmental problems. Therefore to talk about envi we have decided to go against the trend. We have decided to find people and stories which could somehow represent change and give more depth to the debate on the saving of our habitat.

Common Man who fight in the front line with all their strength for a cause. Pierluigi e Lionel and the young researchers are all of this. Through different nearly opposite ways they met each other in the same element to share their aims: to be an example for genuine renewal. This is the theme of our movie it is the force which moves us towards such an ambitious production. we believe that the association and its professionist are by now mature and ready to undertake a professional course at high level to make a giant productive and artistic quality step.


one-off documentary by Alessandro Bernard & Paolo Ceretto produced by Enrico Pacciani
in association with Alessandro Bernard (Docabout)

Original soundtrack

Scientific consultant
Nicola Nurra
PhD Laboratory of Zoology and Marine Biology
Department of Life Sciences and System Biology -University of Turin.

Under the patronage of
Legambiente Arcipelago Toscano


Since 2005 he produces, writes and directs documentary films and videos in the cultural sector.
He works in the audio-visual production of cultural events ( – – – and as project manager in cross/trans-media projects. He is chairman and founding partner of the Cultural Association Docabout.

2006/2007. He wrote and co-directed his first international documentary “Space Hackers”, which was co-produced by Arte France, Studio International, Zenit Arti Audiovisive and with the participation of various televisions among which: Fox International Channels Italia, RAI, DR TV, TSI, TSR, SBS, RTBF, VPRO, Planete, YLE TEEMA, and the contribution of the Programme MEDIA of the European Union and of Piedmont Doc Film Fund – which was the regional fund for the documentary. The documentary participated in numerous international festivals, winning the Golden Statue at the 38th Roshd International Film Festival, Teheran 2008.
2009/2010. He was the author and project manager of the cross-media platform called “May I ask you something personal”, which was preliminary to the development of the documentary “Quando Olivetti inventò il PC” (When Olivetti invented the PC) (
2011. He wrote and co-directed the international documentary “Quando Olivetti inventò il PC” produced by Zenit Arti Audiovisive in collaboration with Docabout and Franti Nisi Masa with the participation of Fox International Channels Italy, Yle Teema, Sbs Australia, UR The Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company and the support given by the MEDIA Programme of the European Union and the Piedmont Doc Film Fund.
2011. He wrote and co-directed the web series “Con gli occhi di una trans” (From the eyes of a transgender). He was the author, project manager and line producer of the first cross-media project (TV/web/radio) of Radio Televisione Italiana ( The system was among the finalists of the PRIX EUROPA 2012 in the “best online project” section.
2012. He wrote and co-directed the documentary “EN CAS DE…” (In case of…) the K-WAY Brand History, which was co-produced by Zenit Arti Audiovisive and BASIC NET.
2013. He wrote and co-directed the documentary film “Appennino: un luogo per il futuro” (Appennine Mountains: a place for the future) for the Fondazione Edoardo Garrone and realized promotional visuals and videos of the projects “Pensiamoci NOI” (Let’s think of it ourselves) and “Fondo Ricerca e Talenti” (Research and Talent Fund) of the Fondazione CRT ( –
2015. He wrote, produced and co-directed the documentary film “Waste Mandala” produced by zenit Arti Audiovisive and Docabout with the participation of RAI 3 and the contribution of of Piedmont Doc Film Fund. The documentary participated in numerous international festivals –
2015. He worked as author and producer of the realisation of a sensitizing campaign against transgender-phobia promoted by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (Department of Equal Opportunities) and as author and project manager of the multimedia spinoff of the documentary “Luce-mia” by Lucio Viglierchio produced by zenit Arti Audiovisive –
2016.He wrote and co-directed the documentary “KEEP ON KOMBAT” the “KAPPA” Brand History, which was co-produced by Zenit Arti Audiovisive and BASIC NET.

Alessandro Bernard – tel. 3939726400