New Voices in Cinema
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As ‘Mediterranea’ opens in Algeria, Ayiva and his friend Abas climb onto a truck packed to bursting with migrants and their belongings, bound for the coast of Libya. The friends have travelled this far from Burkina Faso; their hoped-for destination: Europe. The path to the shores of of a better life is an arduous one, strewn with violence, bandits and the stormy perils of sea travel. Eventually, the pair arrive in Italy, where immigration authorities allow them three months to find contracted work so they can apply for residence permits.
The promised land, however, is not as glorious and welcoming as Ayiva and Abas might have hoped. While they fall into friendly camaraderie with the migrant community, work is harsh, money is scarce and the goal of a settled life seems perpetually out of reach. As tension begins to build with the locals, things eventually come to a head and dreams of the future begin to look more like nightmares.
With ‘Mediterraneaa’, director Jonas Carpignano builds a fast-paced, relentless journey through the experiences of those from Africa who strive to make a place for themselves in the "stability" of Europe. Given the horrifying migration situation the world is facing today, the film acts as an urgent call to treat migrants and refugees with dignity, respect and compassion.