Crossings: Stories of Migration
Fire at Sea 12A (S)
Gianfranco Rosi's moving and powerful observational documentary explores the chaos and despair of the ongoing migrant crisis on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa – the symbolic border of Europe, crossed by thousands of migrants in the last 20 years in search of freedom.
Rosi spent two years on Lampedusa to craft this thoughtful portrait of a place best known as a staging post and rescue centre on the refugee route to mainland Europe. Embedding us in the life of the island via 12-year-old Samuele, who loves shooting his slingshot and going hunting, Rosi carefully juxtaposes Samuele's story with the complete disenfranchisement of the migrants who are desperately seeking a place of greater safety.
Never shying 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 - the personal, human angle is all the more affecting in how Rosi connects this awful experience to the lives of the islanders. Fire at Sea is a plea for compassion and understanding that packs a powerful punch.
Crossings: Stories of Migration is an Institute of Contemporary Arts-led UK-wide film and events programme supported by the BFI using National Lottery funding and in partnership with the Goethe-Institut.