Pia’s Story
My brother, my sister sold for a fistful of lire
This is Pia’s story, looking for her brother and sisters «sold»in the early fifties at the age of 4, 7 and 9 years old, to a Catholic Italian-American adoption agency.

Pia was 10 years old when she saw her little brother and sisters for the last time perched on the donkey taking them to their destiny.
Although she was not responsible for the tragedy (her father gave up his paternity), Pia still feels remorse: are they still alive? What have their lives been like in America? Are they in touch with each other, living in the same place?

Pia wants to find answers to all these questions, constantly repeating in her head. She is determined to find them now, after more than 45 years.

Beyond her quest and investigation, the network of adoption is explored and the responsibility of the Church and Vatican demonstrated. The socio-economic situation of Italy just after World War II is examined through archives (pictures and films) and testimonies of people directly involved. This analysis brings to light the destiny of thousands of Italian children who were, between 1945 and 1965, the target of that traffic.





Original language

Versions & subtitles

Author / Director

Voice Over



Assistant Operator



Delegate Producer

Production & distribution

90’ et 58’

Super 16 mm





Basile Sallustio

Basile Sallustio (F-It)
Hugues Lepaige (RTBF)
David Buckley (UK)

Eugenio Colombo

Marcello Montarsi
Olivier Pulinckx
Giuseppe Schifani

Francesca D'Antoni

Richard Verthé
Stefano Savino

Evelyne Bertiau

Basile Sallustio

Jungle Films
Traduzione italiana
With the support
Of the European Commission
Opening of the “ International documentary Festival of Nyon” (CH) April 1998
Cannes Festival, section “Academy of documentaries” of the Forum, 18 May 1998
Festival of the Italian Cinema in Brussels (B) - 14/29 November 1998
Namur Film Festival (B) September 1998
Festival “Filmer à tout Prix“ in Brussels (B) 20/22 November 1998
Mannhein-Heidelberg Film Festival (D) 09/17 October 1998
Festival in Göttingen (D) 20/28 November 1998
International Documentary Festival Amsterdam IDFA (NL) 25 Nov./03 Dec. 1998
Intern. Festival of Audiovisuals Programmes (FIPA) in Biarritz (F) January 1999
International Film Festival in Tehran (IRN) 01/11 February 1999
Festival “Autour de la Naissance” Grenoble (F) 17-19 march 1999
Festival of Annecy (F) Cinedoc 01 October 1999
International Historical Film Festival in Pessac (F) 17-21 November 1999
European audiovisual Encounters in Narbonne (F) 15-21 November 1999
“Cinema a modo mio“ Film Festival on children rights in Roma (I) April 2000
Documentary Film Festival in San Benedetto del Tronto (I) July 2000
Hot Springs Documentary Films Festival (Arizona - USA) 13-22 October 2000
First Prize at Sna Benedetto Del Tronto Documentary Film Festival (Italy) 07/99
Best social documentary film Trophy at "European audiovisual Encounters“ in Narbonne (F) 5-21 November 1999“
Ecran Total (Arenberg Galeries in Brussels) 25 June / 12 July 1998
Plaza Art in Mons (B) 03 / 23 March 1999
Le Parc in Charleroi (B) 05 / 18 May 1999
Cine Forum in Namur (B) 25 May 06 June 1999
Film Forum (Manhattan) in New-York from 21st July 1999
Le Latina (Paris) from 26th May 1999 + France
Forum des Images (Paris) 10 & 19 November 1999
France : régions (Montpellier, Perpignan, Amiens, Bordeaux, Annecy…)
Canal + Belgium June 13, 1998
Canal + France July 18, 1998
Canal + Scandinavia October 1998
Tele + (Italy) November 19,1998
Télé + Italie: 19 novembre 1998 (version longue 90')
SVT1 (Sweden) April 12, 1999
TSI (Italian Swiss) May 1999
TSR (French Swiss) June 1999
France2 November 21, 1999
RTBF (Belgium) November 20&27, 1999
Radio Quebec (Canada) Winter 1999/2000
Planète (France / Germany / Poland / Italy) Autumn 2000 / Spring 2001