Since March 2011, after the outbreak of the Libyan War, many African migrants and refugees escaped from the country. While a part of this flow has found shelter in refugee camps at the border with Tunisia, others managed to reach Italian coasts by boat.
Many of them had been previously pushed back by Italy as a result of an agreement signed by Berlusconi and Gaddafi in 2008. Since the signature of this deal, all migrants intercepted at sea by the Italian navy were forcibly returned to Libya, where they were exposed to any kind of abuses by local police.
Our documentary aims to tell what actually happened to African refugees on the Italian ships during these “push back operations” and in Libyan prisons after their deportation.
We met our witnesses in Shousha refugee camp, at the border between Libya and Tunisia, and in two reception camps for asylum seekers (C.A.R.A.) in southern Italy.
Their interviews constitute the main part of the documentary, along with a session of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, where one of our witnesses sued Italy. T
he Court has recently condemned Italy for violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Italia, 2012 – ’60
Editing: Sara Zavarise
Sound: Riccardo Spagnol
Original Music: Piccola Bottega Baltazar
Language: Amharic, Tigrinya, Somali (English, Finnish, Swedish, German, Portuguese, French and Italian subtitles)
Graphics: Marco Lovisatti
With: Ermias Berhane, Omer Ibrahim, Roman Amore, Jemal Mohammed Omer, Bekit Saleh Okud, Shishay Tesfay, Tedros Ojbay, Gedey Bahlbi, Nathael Tedros, Yoel Tedros, Abdirahman, Abdikadir, Foowis, Abu Kurke, Semere Kahsay, Tsige Kahsay, Nahere Kahsay
Production: ZaLab DoP: Matteo Calore, Simone Falso, Andrea Segre
International distribution (TV): Sideways Film
Documentary produced with the support of OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS
On June 20th 2012 Italy mobilized to say No! to pushcy of immigration reception. From Belluno to Enna, 100 simultaneous screenings of “Mare Chiuso (Closed Sea)” have accompanied the launch of Amnesty International’s petition to the Italian government.
FESTIVALS, AWARDS and SCREENINGS
22° Edition Festival Cinema Africano, Asia e America Latina – ACCRA and “Il razzismo è una brutta storia” Awards
Bif&st 2012 | Bari International Film Festival – De Seta Award
69th Venice Film Festival – Special Screening
Maiori Film Festival – Rossellini Award
Libero Bizzarri Award – Best documentary –
“Globo d’Oro”, International Press Association Award for Best Documentary
Bellaria Film Festival – Morando Morandini Award
Ischia Film Fest – Special Mention
Bolzano Film Festival 2012 – FiCE and Stiftung Südtiroler Sparkasse Awards
Maratea Film Festival – Agamar Award
Molise Cinema 2012 – Giuseppe Folchi Award
Lo Sguardo di Omero – Best Documentary