After their film, Girlfriend in a Coma, which provoked a national debate within Italy, director Annalisa Piras and former editor of The Economist Bill Emmott turned their attention to the political, economic and identity crisis facing Europe with another hard-hitting and creative current affairs documentary.
The Great European Disaster Movie, starring Angus Deayton, is a BBC/ARTE co-production. It was filmed in five countries and has so far been broadcast in 12 and translated into 10 languages, including Japanese. The Wake Up Foundation has bought the film’s educational rights, on a non-exclusive basis.
The film uses fictional scenes from a dystopian post-EU future as its narrative thread, with the British archaeologist Charles Granda (played by Angus Deayton) explaining to an Italian girl seated next to him on a plane, what went wrong with Europe and what was lost. The documentary sections of the film reflect five European values, each represented by an artefact: economic integration; welfare and the social model; freedom of movement; equal rights and democracy; and the peaceful resolution of conflicts.
When it was first shown on BBC 4, in March 2015, the film sparked controversy in British Eurosceptic circles, where it was dubbed ‘EU propaganda’ despite its critical stance towards the European institutions, for daring to posit that the European project is worth saving.