Away from political tension, the character of the immigrant is increasingly present in the cinema where he is the hero, such as Italian director Matteo Garone's film “Io Capitano”, which has recently started showing in several European countries.
On February 7, Polish director Agnieszka Holland's film “Green Border” about the suffering of migrants stranded on the border between Poland and Belarus will be shown.
As for French cinema, the issue of immigration is at the heart of the film “La Date Fruit,” which opens on the 17th of this month, and deals with smugglers who settle in the Alps.
Fifteen years after the film “Gomorrah” about the mafia in Naples, in his new film “Io Capitano” Caron chose to depict in an epic way the poignant story of two young Senegalese connected by family ties. They decide to leave their country. and go to Europe to improve their lives, so they undertake the perilous journey. Africa and throughout the Mediterranean.
“Io Capitano” won several awards at the recent Venice Film Festival, and Italy chose to represent it in the competition for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. In a country where a far-right government is in power, the image has a very obvious symbolic significance in a country at the forefront of the issue of migrants trying to reach Europe.
The film tells the story of two Senegalese teenagers, Seydou (Seydou Sarr) and Moussa (Mustapha Fall), who decide to leave their family without a word to try their luck in Europe. The film changed the life of its lead actor, 19-year-old Senegalese Seydoux Saar, his first cinematic experience, for which he won the Best New Actor Award at Venice.
“I dreamed of being a footballer, but God's will prevails,” Seydoux told Agence France-Presse in Paris.
The movie “Eu Capitano” was shot in Senegal and Morocco, where Seydou Sarr met migrants stranded after severe suffering.
He added: “What really motivated me to make this film was that I told myself that Europeans might come to help those who have been trapped in Morocco for about 10 years. The film is also important to show Africa what is happening there.”
If the issue of immigration is in the media and political debates in Europe, Matteo Caron wanted to address it in his film without the tragic situation, but without noticing the risks to life during the difficult crossing marches, like two young people. He arrived in Italy on a very crowded boat.
• The movie “Io Capitano” is important to show what is happening in Africa.
Controversy and hatred
Screenings of immigrant films are sometimes not without controversy. In 2022, the French film “Angaje” about immigrants in the Alps was released, and there was a hate campaign against its director, Emilie Frisch. As for Agnieszka Holland (age 75), who won the Special Jury Prize in Venice for the film “Green Board”, she was also the victim of violent attacks by Polish nationalists.
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