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MEDITERRANEA follows Ayiva and Abas on their dangerous journey from Burkina Faso to Italy where they try start a new life.


MEDITERRANEA follows Ayiva and Abas, two young men from Burkina Faso who migrate to Italy. Their dangerous journey includes Algeria and Libya and getting robbed, shipwrecked, and picked up by the Italian coast guard. Their friends and relatives take care of them in Italy and organize a flimsy tent in a type of slum and a job at an orange plantation. They explain to the two how it works: they have three months to get a work contract and then they can get a visa. MEDITERRANEA is reminiscent of Michael Winterbottom’s IN THIS WORLD, a semi-documentary that follows a young Afghani as he flees to England. The journey is just the beginning of the film as MEDITERRANEA mostly concerns itself with the arrival in Italy, the precarious living conditions, the everyday racism, the survival strategies, and the ambivalent feelings about it all. While Aviya takes it all in and calmly sizes up the place Abas, the younger of the two, is appalled by what he finds in Europe. This becomes very clear at a charity dinner organized by an older woman who wants the refugees to call her “Mama Africa,” The men play along with the demeaning game with pained looks on their faces. What can you do when you’re hungry? Director Jona Carpignano remains close to his protagonists, understands the world they live in, and where they come from. Carpignano moved the Rosarno, where violence against refugees escalated in 2010, for research purposes. This is where he met his protagonists and found out more about their situation which led to the prize-winning short A CHJÀNA and now this impressive fiction debut.

Hendrike Bake

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Deutschland/ Frankreich/ USA/ Italien/ Katar 2015, 110 min
Genre: Drama
Director: Jonas Carpignano
Author: Jonas Carpignano
DOP: Wyatt Garfield
Montage: Nico Leunen, Alfonso Gonçalves, Sanabel Cherqaoui
Music: Dan Romer, Benh Zeitlin
Distributor: DCM Film Distribution
Cast: Alassane Sy, Koudous Seihon, Annalisa Pagano, Aisha, Paolo Sciarretta
FSK: 12
Release: 15.10.2015




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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