Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare ) (2016)

Director: Gianfranco Rosi. 114 min. Italy/France. Documentary.

Italy's foreign-language entry for next year's Oscars - so I guess Italian cinema must've been pretty slow in 2016. It's about the island of Lampedusa, the destination of thousands of Africa's refugees who brave the seas, many to die along the way. But in parallel to the refugee plight (the film's sole engrossing scenes), equal time is given to show the islanders' slow lives, oblivious to events on their shores. This is where the film goes all Herzog on us, trying to be introspective, showing an Italian family slurping spaghetti for 5 minutes. That's just one of numerous long, patience-defying moments.

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