Filming at the Borders: Migrating to Europe Today - "Fire at Sea"

Sponsored by the UVA Department of French and the UVA Program in European Studies. With special thanks to the International Rescue Committee (Charlottesville)
Saturday, November 5, 2016 3:00 PM to 5:15 PM
(Film curated by Nora Philippe)

Fire at Sea


Saturday, November 5, 2016
4:00 pm -6:15 pm
Piedmont Virginia Community College
Dickson Theater

Documentary/fiction. Italian-French co-production. Filmed in: Italy. Language: Italian, with English subtitles.

In this stellar documentary, Gianfranco Rosi contrasts the lives of the desperate thousands (mostly African refugees) landing on the shores of the Sicilian island of Lampedusa with the everyday existence of the locals. Winner of Berlin Festival’s Golden Bear award.

A tiny island no more than eight square miles in size, Lampedusa has long been a Mediterranean toehold for people on the move, from ancient Greek and Roman sailors until now, as African migrants take advantage of its position roughly halfway between Libya and Sicily to make their first contact with European soil. These refugees now number more than 150,000 a year, crossing illegally in crowded boats — a phenomenon seen often enough on European news, usually when things go tragically amiss. But what of those who call this isolated location home? In “Fire at Sea,” documentary filmmaker Gianfranco Rosi turns hiseye on the locals, most notably a 12-year-old boy named Samuele, whose lives have been transformed both directly and indirectly by a migrant problem far too large for the minuscule community to handle, addressing the crisis in humanist terms via a delicate, decidedly noncommercial cine-poem.

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