Winner of the Golden Bear for Best Film at the Berlin Film Festival 2016, Gianfranco Rosi’s incisive, poignant and deeply-moving portrait of the Mediterranean Island of Lampedusa – and the humanitarian crisis occurring in the seas around it – is both a masterly work of documentary filmmaking and a timely call for urgent action.
Situated 150 miles south of Sicily, Lampedusa has hit the headlines as the first port of call for hundreds of thousands of African and Middle Eastern refugees hoping to make a new life in Europe. After spending months living on the island and engaging with its inhabitants, Rosi accumulated an incredible array of footage, portraying the history, culture and daily lives of the islanders. Focusing on 12-year-old Samuele as he explores the land and attempts to gain mastery of the sea, the film slowly builds a breathtakingly naturalistic portrait of the Lampedusan people and the events that surround them.
The result is a lyrical, poetic, and searingly powerful documentary that casts neither judgement nor aspersions, but simply shows the world to the viewer – to utterly devastating effect.
‘The Berlinale jury got it right. Gianfranco Rosi’s documentary about the migrant crisis in Europe engages deeply with a key topic of our time, but also displays a distinctive, humane cinematic style.’ – The Guardian ★★★★
‘Gianfranco Rosi’s multi-award-winning film details life on the Italian island of Lampedusa, where death comes ashore with frightening routine…a visceral call to arms from those left to ferry the corpses.’ – The Irish Times ★★★★
Italy, 2016 | Language: Italian | 109 minutes | Cert: 12A
Director: Gianfranco Rosi
Featuring: Maria Costa, Mattias Cucina, Samuele Caruana