The Academy of Motion Pictures announced that FIRE AT SEA, the award winning documentary film from Italy, directed by Gianfranco Rosi, is on the shortlist for Best Documentary Film.
In addition to being chosen as Italy’s Oscar submission for Best Foreign Language, the film is also now up for a Best Documentary Award, the category that people like me and Paola Sorrentino thought it should be in all along (Paolo and I think so much alike).
Gianfranco Rosi’s heartbreaking documentary won the Berlinale’s Golden Bear
The European migrant crisis is the hot button topic that Rosi tackles this time around, one that will strike a nerve for Americans and our immigration debate. While we tend to talk about who does, and does not deserve to live here in the US, Italians on the island of Lampadusa are concerned with the more immediate job of saving the lives of desperate boat people in perilous situations at sea. Politics will come later.
These men and women will need to be absorbed into an already troubled Europe, or they’ll need to be sent back to their dangerous homelands, but as one resident put it, “If we don’t help them, who will?”
Rosi leaves the politics to the politicians and shows us the horrifying reality of overcrowded boats, a frantic SOS from one that is sinking, and a medical doctor describing the unimaginable number of dead and dying he deals with on a regular basis.