Materia oscura tells the story of a war zone in peacetime.
The film location is the Salto di Quirra test range where, for over fifty years, governments around the world have tested "new weapons" and where the Italian government has carried out controlled explosions of old weapon stocks. Within this context the film comprises three movements.
The first movement follows the investigation of a geologist who attempts to trace the pollution caused by military experiments; the second movement centres on the search through the film archives of the test range whose main characters have been weapons and explosives from throughout the world; the third and last part describes the work of two farmers, father and son, and their relationship with the land, animals, and with a past deeply affected by military activities.
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