Winner of the Golden Bear for Documentary in Berlin, Gianfranco Rosi's moving and powerful observational film could not be a more important or timely release, exploring as it does the chaos and despair of the ongoing migrant crisis.
Rosi spent two years on Lampedusa, the Sicilian island on the frontline of the refugee crisis, to craft this thoughtful portrait of a place best known as a staging post and rescue centre on the refugee route to mainland Europe. First, he embeds us in the life of the island via 12-year-old Samuele, who loves shooting his slingshot and going hunting, before carefully juxtaposing his story with the complete disenfranchisement of the migrants, desperately seeking a place of greater safety.
The film doesn't shy away from showing the terrible reality of migrant rescue - packed boats sending distress signals; patrols racing to aid them; the arrival of the living and the dead - and the personal, human angle Rosi has taken is all the more affecting for how he connects this awful experience to the lives of the islanders. A plea for compassion and understanding that packs a powerful punch.
- As part of Refugee week, screenings of Fire At Sea between Mon 20 - Thu 23 June will be preceded by the short film Home (Dir. Daniel Mulloy, 2016, UK/Kosovo, 20mins) starring Jack O’Connell (Starred Up, ’71) and Holliday Grainger (Cinderella, Anna Karenina). The film was backed by the Kosovo government, UN agencies, USAID and made by volunteers to highlight the refugee crisis. Please note: the short will screen in place of our usual 15 mins of ads/trailers, so will begin promptly at the advertised start time for the screening.
- The screening of Fire at Sea on Tue 21 June is part of our Cinébites deal: get 30% off any main dish in the Café/Bar with a valid cinema ticket.