More than 17,000 people were reported to have died trying to cross the Mediterranean in the last 15 years. The island of Lampedusa is the first port of call for hundreds of thousands of African and Middle Eastern refugees hoping to make a new life in Europe.
Nominated for Best Documentary at the 2016 Academy Awards® and Winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, Gianfranco Rosi’s poignant and deeply moving portrait of the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa - and the humanitarian crisis occurring in the seas around it - is both a masterly work of documentary filmmaking and a timely call for urgent action.
Focusing on 12-year-old Samuele, as he explores the land and attempts to gain mastery of the sea, the film builds a naturalistic portrait of the Lampedusan people and the events that surround them as they witness the greatest humanitarian tragedy of our times.
Documentarian Gianfranco Rosi’s observations of everyday life bring us closer to this place, and to the emotional world of its inhabitants who are exposed to a permanent state of emergency. The result is a lyrical, poetic and searingly powerful documentary that casts neither judgement nor aspersions, but simply shows the world to the viewer - to utterly devastating effect.