Fire At Sea
Winner of the Golden Bear for Documentary at the recent Berlinale, Sacro GRA director Gianfranco Rosi’s Fire at Sea could not be a more important or timely release, exploring as it does the chaos and despair of the ongoing migrant crisis.
The film is set on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa, a pit-stop for migrants for centuries, and one of Europe’s most symbolic borders. First, Rosi embeds us in the life of the island via 12-year old Samuele, who loves shooting his slingshot and going hunting – land-based games, though everything around him is redolent of the sea.
As the film proceeds, Rosi shows us more and more of the terrible reality of migrant rescue – packed boats sending distress signals; patrols racing to aid them; the arrival of the living and the dead. With quiet profundity, he contrasts the settled lives of Lampedusans with the complete disenfranchisement of the migrants, desperately seeking a place of greater safety.