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367 Ratings

Fire at Sea


Directed by Gianfranco Rosi
France, Italy, 2016


Capturing life on the Italian island of Lampedusa, a frontline in the European migrant crisis.

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Fire at Sea Directed by Gianfranco Rosi

Awards & Festivals

Berlin International Film Festival

2016 | 4 wins including: Amnesty International Film Prize

Academy Awards

2017 | Nominee: Best Documentary Feature

Indiewire Critics' Poll

2016 | Nominee: Best Documentary

What are people saying?

  • MATTEO BITTANTI's rating of the film Fire at Sea

    Little Samuele has a lazy eye. An obvious metaphor for the West blindness to the influx of migrants. The Italian Navy picks them up but what happens next is addressed elsewhere (watch Mediterranea, for instance). Rosi' documentary feels not only underwhelming and ineffective but also complicit in aestheticizing an ongoing tragedy. Minervini's "controversial" rough/raw semi-docs are much more intriguing.

  • msmichel's rating of the film Fire at Sea

    Gianfranco Rosi, in this Golden Bear winning documentary, casts an eye on the influx of refugees risking death in travelling across the Mediterranean from Africa to Europe by focusing on a tiny island well south of Sicily. Rosi wisely doesn't just focus on the travails of the migrants but also on some select natives of the island, even those not directly affected by the other strand. Rosi has no 'lazy eye' here.

  • Rafael Zen's rating of the film Fire at Sea

    Although lacking a position on its subject, this doc features non stop beauty from its imagery: it really captures two opposites sharing the same space - immigrants and locals: but what else do they really share? In my perspective, it showcases a big hit on contemporary crisis: what do we do with our local demands? Poetic, strong and very touching.

  • pancake lizard's rating of the film Fire at Sea

    Oh look, this boy is so funny. Oh look, a refugee girl is dying. Oh look, some birds and shit. Fuck me, this was so deep I never understood what was I supposed to get from it and not once did I feel like it was more than a collection of stuff that's really big in festivals at the moment. Boring, useless, soulless cinema.

  • Dries's rating of the film Fire at Sea

    Allegoria i miei coglioni , non si capisce come un film del genere possa aver vinto un qualsivoglia premio che non fosse'' peggior film italiano''. La scena del bacio alla statuetta di padre pio è il massimo...non do 1 perchè samuele mi ha fatto tenerezza, c'avrà 10 anni e parla da terrone navigato :(

  • Joel's rating of the film Fire at Sea

    I'm surprised to find I differ so much with many of the reviews for this film here. I was at first uncertain of the film's angle, but slowly grew grateful for it's quiet perspective on a potentially challenging subject matter. We hear so many WORDS about refugees, but there was great dignity in it's silent perspective. I felt the mix of story was a reminder of how peace and war often co-exist in our world today.

  • bernardovazdecastro's rating of the film Fire at Sea

    This film is worst than boring, is offensive. Rosi created two separated narratives, for showing the alienated condition of lampedusa's people to refugees situation. But worst than that, he think (through the allegory of lazy eye kid situation) is work is the true redemption. It's so prepotent forcing narrative to is own private view, that is why you only have corps instead of testimony of that people suffering.

  • Marta Donati's rating of the film Fire at Sea

    Extremely allegorical at points, it still manages to record the tragedy of migration. On the other hand, the camera follows the life of a Lampedusan family, shown to be perfectly unaware of the very tragedy that the film often reminds us of. This is perfectly expressed through the metaphor of the boy's 'lazy eye'. The film shows how documentary can be a peculiar, personal, inspiring form of film-making.

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