Mother Stone

68′ – 2024 – ITALIA


Four characters revolve around Mount Etna, having just been through a recent earthquake and now captivated by an imminent eruption. A volcanologist is interpreting the signs from the ground; a priest is giving his affected congregation hope; a healer is aiding her followers with ancient healing arts; a pantheistic mystic is building a hut at the foot of the volcano and setting the turbulent summit craters as his spiritual destination.

Pietra Madre (Mother Stone) is tackling the unpredictability of Nature, making it the pillar of her narrative.

cast & crew

WRITTEN & DIRECTED by Daniele Greco & Mauro Maugeri
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Nadia Repetto, Giulia Iannello, Daniele Greco, Mauro Maugeri
PRODUCTION Giulia Iannello
EDITING Antonio Toscano
SOUND Fabio Trombetta
MUSIC Riccardo Leotta
DIRECTION ASSISTANT Andrea Massimo, Pieralfio Sciuto
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Eleonora Maltese, Jerónimo González Costa
POSTER ARTIST Alessia Scuderi
PHOTO Giuseppe Guarrera, Roberta Nanfitò

Pietra Madre is an Artescienza SAS production from the project ‘Aitna – quattro storie e un vulcano’ (Aitna – four stories and a volcano), realised within the framework of the Patto per lo Sviluppo della Regione Siciliana (Pact for the South) FSC 2014-2020.

Boris Behncke is a German volcanologist and member of INGV Etneo, who moved to its slopes to observe it closely.

Father Sam leads the parish of Pennisi, which was hit by a violent earthquake in 2018. The priest, of Indian origin, oversees the reconstruction of the church and cares for families forced to leave their homes.

Bahman Alaj is a retired Iranian professor who has been coming to Etna for 20 years to experience it pantheistically. He lives for months in the middle of the forest, walking up to the top of the crater to “feel the hole where God cooks his soup”. Her relationship with tourists is decidedly conflicting.

Nunzia Testa is a primary school teacher. Her life is divided between the kindergarten in Camporotondo Etneo, a village at the foot of the volcano, and her home in Ognina. Nunzia is one of the last guardians of the traditional healing arts that have been handed down for centuries in Sicily: with prayers and archaic rituals, she manages to heal small and great ills.



Starting from a socio-anthropological investigation into the relationship between humans and nature, the documentary tells the lives of the four protagonists with an immersive approach, without interfering with the internal movement of the scene, thus capturing their authentic reactions. Landscape is the true protagonist: hence the idea of developing the story of four possible human approaches to the mutability of Nature: science, faith, mysticism and magic. The volcano and its movements (roars, paroxysms, gas emissions) represent the main element with which humans confront and let themselves be influenced in their search for the absolute. Nature, of which Etna is considered a synecdoche, is understood here as a subject with which to coexist and clash.
Daniele Greco & Mauro Maugeri