Crossings: Stories of Migration

Lamerica 18 (CTBA) (S)


Photo courtesy of Istituto Luce Cinecittà.

One of the best films by veteran Italian filmmaker Gianni Amelio, Lamerica, set in Communist-era Albania, still resonates today in its capturing of the complex personal circumstances which shape the dreams and journeys of migrants.

Fiore, a seasoned racketeer from Italy, arrives in Albania with Gino, his young apprentice, to set up a shoe factory that will never open. They designate Spiro, a confused old man in prison, as chairman of the board. While Fiore returns to Italy to get funds from the government for the project, Gino tries to track down the deranged Spiro who keeps running off. But he soon finds himself in the midst of a tide of penniless, homeless Albanians who are on their way to the port where they hope to get a ship to Italy - the Promised Land - and amidst the chaos the arrogant and cruel Gino is divested of his fancy belongings and passport, finding himself in a free fall into poverty.

One of the first cinematic depictions of mass migration, this rarely seen gem is hailed as one of the great films of the 1980s. Using a mix of professional and non-professional actors, Amelio skilfully creates a universe of moral conflict - one that touches on the personal issues which underlie so much of the myth, reality and misperception about immigration.

Print courtesy of Istituto Luce Cinecittà.

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.

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