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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.
The first documentary to ever win the top award at the Berlin International Film Festival, FIRE AT SEA takes place in Lampedusa, a once peaceful Mediterranean island that has become a major entry point for African refugees into Europe. There, we meet Samuele, a 12-year-old boy who lives simply, climbing rocks by the shore and playing with his slingshot. Yet nearby we also witness thousands of men, women and children trying to survive the crossing from Africa in boats that are too small for such a journey. Filmmaker Gianfranco Rosi masterfully places these realities side by side, and in so doing creates a remarkable third narrative that jolts us into a new understanding of what is really happening in the Mediterranean today.
“What “Fire at Sea” appears to be and what it is are not the same thing, and it’s that difference that makes it a masterful documentary.” – Los Angeles Times
“”Fire at Sea” occupies your consciousness like a nightmare, and yet somehow you don’t want it to end.” – The New York Times
“The European migrant crisis has found its cinematic Pietà in Fire At Sea, Italian director Gianfranco Rosi’s powerful, at times shocking but also intensely human documentary.” -Screen International
“Where journalism leaves off, Fire at Sea begins. It takes a unique documentary filmmaker like Gianfranco Rosi to capture the drama through the periscope of his camera focused on the small Sicilian island of Lampedusa.” -The Hollywood Reporter
“Packs a powerful punch.” -The Guardian
Director: Gianfranco Rosi
Runtime: 108 minutes
Language: Italian w/ English subtitles
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