For nearly two years of exploring the "Great Ring Road's" almost 70km of looping highway, Gianfranco Rosi brings to the foreground the daily routine of ordinary people, composing the profile of a microcosm on the outskirts of Great Rome.
Situated some 200km off Italy's southern coast, Lampedusa has hit world headlines in recent years as the first port of call for hundreds of thousands of African and Middle Eastern migrants hoping to make a new life in Europe. Rosi spent months living on the Mediterranean island, capturing its history, culture and the current everyday reality of its 6,000-strong local population as hundreds of migrants land on its shores on a weekly basis. The resulting documentary focuses on 12-year-old Samuele, a local boy who loves to hunt with his slingshot and spend time on land even though he hails from a culture steeped in the sea.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi highly appreciated the movie, stating that he would carry with him 27 DVD copies of the film to a session of the European Council. Each one of the copies was given to a head of state or government of the European Union. See more »
This is my testimony... We could no longer stay in Nigeria. Many were dying. Most were bombed... We flee from Nigeria. We ran to the desert. We went Sahara Desert and many died... Raping and killing many people, and we could not stay. We flee to Libya. And Libya was a city of ISIS. And Libya was a place not to stay... On the journey on the sea, 200 passengers died. They got lost to the sea. A boat was carrying 90 passengers. Only 30 were rescued, and the rest died. Today we are alive...
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This documentary film is not in detail like any normal documentary does, to highlight the rights and wrongs. Actually, it speaks less and reveals more through its pictures. So anybody can make their own narration watching this film. The filmmakers left that part empty for you the viewers to decide. But my advice for you if you want to try this, that don't expect it to be about the 'immigration' alone. This film was multi-layered. There are many angles of focus about different topics, but kind of all are connected which is the Mediterranean Sea.
So the common thing in the film is the Sea that divides the two continents, Europe and Africa. This film sets around that region about the people who depended on it for the living, growing up and looking for the fresh life start. But the majority of those who saw it recognise only the refugees who cross the sea. That's wrong to label this film is about the refugees. Around 20-25 per cent of the film concentrated on that issue. Only about their struggle on their journey to the other side, but it reveals nothing on its root cause. If you ask me, I would say only one religion making all this mess in the middle-east, otherwise you won't see the western army in that region.
Some of the clips, the real ones are really disturbing. I won't blame those people who took such risk to get the other side of the sea. Believe me, I'm not a nationalist, so I won't believe in borders and regions that divided over language and ethnicity base. But I do mind the religious. If that was eradicated from the earth's surface, particularly one that's causing all the trouble immediately, we can co-exist peacefully. That's the major issue here, but we're after temporary solution. The film does not say all this, but you will get the clear picture.
"The ships fired rockets and at sea. It was like there was fire at sea."
For me this was an average film. I have seen the much better documentaries than this on various issues of the world. The filmmakers don't want to take sides, so they only revealed the truth by just following and making videos of life in and around the Mediterranean Sea. Like I meantioned earlier, some of the angles do not make any sense or difficult to understand its purpose. I don't know the others, but I have got plenty of questions about the film to ask the filmmakers. If you are like me, welcome aboard.
It was the Italian entry for the 2017 Oscars and it did not make, but found a slot in the list of Best Documentary Feature. This is the first out of five from that category I have seen, so I don't know whether it wins the award or not, but as per the prediction made by film fanatics and critics, this is the frontrunner.
Whatever the result would be, I'm not recommending it particularly the common people. Because the film fails to narrate the story which is very essential from the average peoples' perspective to get the message clear and loud. All one can get with this is only the outline on the very important issue at the moment. Remember how the David Attenborough's narration made to reach all the corners of the earth. Confusing over the purpose of the documentary, possibly misleading. Its like watching a news channel on the mute mode. Otherwise, this should have been one of the best of its kind.
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