Archive of films What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire? / What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire?

Italy / USA / France
2018, 123 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2019

The filmmaker gained access to an African-American community in the American South – to both ordinary people and to the otherwise reclusive Black Panthers. The sympathetic protagonists’ stories reflect the burning issues associated with ongoing racism in America, which not only segregates the black community but physically threatens its members on a daily basis.


In his exceptionally intimate portrait of several members of a black community in the American South, the filmmaker casts likeable protagonists to show the difficult situation faced by African Americans and how race remains a determining factor for their identity and social status. For brothers Titus and Ronaldo the end of their carefree childhood means they must now face the harsh reality of their neighborhood – their mother warns them that if they're out after dark, they might get shot by the police. Judy runs a bar that serves as a meeting place for the community, but she’s recently had to face the increasing costs of gentrification. Meanwhile, the Black Panthers want justice for the victims of racially motivated murders… The film premiered in competition at Venice.

Vít Kořínek

About the director

Roberto Minervini (b. 1970, Fermo, Italy). Filmography: Voodoo Doll (2005, short), Notes (2005, short), Come to Daddy (2005, short), Las luciérnagas (2006, short), The Passage (2011), Low Tide (2012), Stop the Pounding Heart (2013, doc.), The Other Side (2015, doc.), What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? (2018, doc.)


The Match Factory
Domstrasse 60, 50668, Cologne
Tel: +49 221 539 7090
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Black & white, DCP

Section: Horizons
Director: Roberto Minervini
Screenplay: Roberto Minervini
Dir. of Photography: Diego Romero Suarez-Llanos
Music: Ingrid Simon
Editor: Marie-Hélène Dozo
Producer: Paolo Benzi, Denise Ping Lee, Roberto Minervini
Production: Okta Film, Pulpa Film
Coproduction: Rai Cinema, Shellac Sud
Cast: Judy Hill, Dorothy Hill, Michael Nelson
Sales: The Match Factory

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