Fire at Sea
Winner of the 2016 Berlinale Golden Bear. For residents of Lampedusa, life continues at a steady pace. Samuele is an observant 12-year-old that lives here. He goes to school, shoots his slingshot, hangs with friends and hunts. He likes playing on land, even though everything around him speaks of the sea and the men, women and children who try to cross it to get to his island. Over the last 20 years, thousands of refugees cross the ocean to Lampedusa in search of freedom. Simultaneous to following Samuele and other residents around the island, Gianfranco Rosi documents a few of the many horrifyingly conditioned boats that wash ashore, as migrants finally reach land after a harrowing journey. Whats next?
Rosi comments on how he ended up living on the island for a year, developing a richer perspective and this feature-length film: Samuelewon me over. I realized that through his clear and ingenuous eyes I could tell the story of the island and its inhabitants with greater freedomSamuele allowed me to see the island differently and with a clarity that I had not known before, and through him other characters were gradually introduced into the film, one after another.
The two worlds, that of the newly arrived refugees, adrift and traumatized, and the timeless locals, shaped by generations of devotion to the sea and the church, have little interaction, but are powerfully linked.
Rosis purpose is subtle; observational, reflective, hes offered a quietly profound study in contrasts. Demetrios Matheou, Indiewire
Northwest Film Forum (View)
1515 12th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122