ITALY/ FRANCE – 2015 – 108 MIN - IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
A FILM BY GIANFRANCO ROSI
FEATURING: SAMUELE PUCILLO, MATTIAS CUCINA, SAMUELE CARUANA, PIETRO BARTOLO
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 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.
Gianfranco Rosi’s observations of everyday life bring us closer to this place that is as real as it is symbolic, and to the emotional world of some of its inhabitants who are exposed to a permanent state of emergency. At the same time his film, which is commentary-free, describes how, even in the smallest of places, two worlds barely touch.
4 Stars! "A harrowing, heartbreaking and humane portrait of the European migrant crisis"
- Globe and Mail
NNNN! "Definitely one to catch on a big screen."
4.5 Stars! "Rosi is the first director ever to have won the Golden Bear at Venice with a documentary"
- Scene Creek
'Death is not easy to film': Documentary's unflinching look into Mediterranean migrant crisis
- CBC Radio, The Current
"Ganfranco Rosi's Fire at Sea breaks barriers"
- Montreal Gazette
"a timely and compelling study of migration"
- POV Magazine
"Italian director Gianfranco Rosi composes Fire at Sea with the grace and poise of a dramatic feature."
"Fire at Sea creates great pathos by juxtaposing scenes of island life with the plight of migrants"
- National Post
Man on fire: an interview with Fire at Sea filmmaker Gianfranco Rosi
- Toronto Film Scene
Interview: Gianfranco Rosi talks Fire at Sea
- Scene Creek
"powerful and visually stunning"
- POV Magazine
"Rosi proves himself to be a sublimely unconventional storyteller"
- Toronto Star
"a stunning work of art"
- The Gate
The Anti Michael Moore Gianfranco Rosi
- NOW Magazine
"Fire at Sea remains steadfastly neutral and clinical and dispenses with commentary altogether. The effect can be compelling. In Rosi, the migrants have found a sympathetic voice."
- Sheldon Kirshner Journal