36th Annual VIRGINIA FILM FESTIVAL October 25-29, 2023

Fire at Sea

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Each year hundreds of thousands of African immigrants journey to the Sicilian island of Lampedusa in search of a better life. The film presents the stark contrast between the daily life of young local boy, Samuele, and the tragic fate of the refugees who make the crossing in boats that are far too small or decrepit. The people of Lampedusa are witness to tragedy each day as they recover the bodies of the dead from the water. Countless other refugees arrive to find that the island does not have the resources or infrastructure to support them. Gianfranco Rosi’s (El Sicario, Room 164) observations of everyday life bring us closer to this place that is as real as it is symbolic, and to the emotional world of some of its inhabitants who are exposed to a permanent state of emergency.

Supported by the UVA Department of French and the UVA European Studies Program


Saturday, November 5


4:00 PM


Other : PVCC Dickinson Center

Buy Now

VAFF donors at the Extra level and above receive advance access to purchase VAFF tickets during our donor pre-sale window. Donors with pre-sale access have received an email with instructions on how to unlock their access. Public ticket sales begin at Noon on Oct. 6. Please visit Donor Benefits.

Film Info

Director: Gianfranco Rosi

Runtime: 114 min.

Year: 2016

Country: Italy/France

Featuring: Samuele Pucillo, Maria Costa, Giuseppe Fragapane, Samuele Caruana, Francesco Paterna.