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Fire At Sea (Italian, English Subtitles)

This very interesting documentary explores the many facets of life on the island of Lampedusa whose location makes it the place where many refugees fleeing Syria, African, and other countries end up after either arriving under their own power or being rescued at sea. Samuele, 12 years old, is trying to learn the art of seamanship from his father, but he would rather play with his slingshot. The film follows him and his father and the people with whom they have contact. The narrator also follows the impact of the refugee crisis – the many who perish in the journey, who develop health problems, and who need to be housed until they can be processed and given permanent homes. The film is quite interesting, mostly because of the way the director approaches the documentary as an observer of the island life, its people, culture, and history and how the contemporary political situation is changing life for its inhabitants. Thumbs up for a film that was not at all what I expected but that turned out to be a well-crafted study of the varied aspects of this island’s life.

About Gary Burkholder

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