After the death of his wife, the Italian seasonal worker Guiseppe has to take his little son Stefano to Switzerland. However, the children of the seasonal workers are denied residence permits in Switzerland. First, Guiseppe hides his son at home during working hours, but when he is threatened with deportation, he begins to fight for the issue of family reunion and organizes a demonstration to draw attention to the fate of the children who live illegally in Switzerland. The slogan “Every worker has the right to his family! We are human beings, not machines!” on a banner reflects the dramatic situation of the seasonniers which was controversial until the mid 1990s.
Alvaro Bizzarri, born in Italy in 1942, worked in Switzerland for 17 years. His first film Il treno del Sud (1970) was already dealing with the Italian labour migration to Switzerland. Lo Stagionale was released two years later and was shown 1972 on the Berlinale in the interational Forum of New Film. The films was shot on 8 mm and enlarged to 16 mm. Bizzarri took over the post-synchronization of the film.