Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare)


Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare)

Critics Consensus

Fire at Sea offers a clear-eyed yet empathetic look at a corner of the world whose terrain may be unfamiliar to many, but whose people's story remains universal.



Total Count: 90


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,303
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Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare) Photos

Movie Info

Winner of the Golden Bear for Best Film at the Berlin Film Festival 2016, Gianfranco Rosi's incisive, poignant and deeply moving portrait of the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa--and the humanitarian crisis occurring in the seas around it--is both a masterly work of documentary filmmaking and a timely call for urgent action. Situated 150 miles south of Sicily, Lampedusa has hit headlines as the first port of call for hundreds of thousands of African and Middle Eastern refugees hoping to make a new life in Europe. After spending months living on the island and engaging with its inhabitants, Rosi accumulated an incredible array of footage, portraying the history, culture and daily lives of the islanders. Focusing on 12-year-old Samuele, as he explores the land and attempts to gain mastery of the sea, the film slowly builds a breathtakingly naturalistic portrait of the Lampedusan people and the events that surround them. The result is a lyrical, poetic and searingly powerful documentary that casts neither judgement nor aspersions, but simply shows the world to the viewer--to utterly devastating effect.

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Critic Reviews for Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare)

All Critics (90) | Top Critics (21)

  • Fire at Sea is a powerful, and beautifully shot, look at the migrant crisis-one that manages to subvert viewer expectations of what has become for many a familiar news subject.

    Jun 16, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Who needs voiceovers when a director's camera has this much to say?

    Feb 3, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • A fascinating study in contrasts, "Fire at Sea' shows how the normal and painfully abnormal exist side by side - the horrific and the serene, the tragic and the mundane, global crisis and daily humdrum.

    Jan 20, 2017 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • Though conceived as a humanitarian statement, the movie wouldn't be as memorable or challenging without its quotidian aspect.

    Dec 15, 2016 | Full Review…
  • We feel the bewilderment of the parochial yet decent residents, the helplessness of the well-intentioned yet overwhelmed rescuers, and the anguish and disorientation of the refugees.

    Dec 7, 2016 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • What makes the movie worth seeing, is the sequence with the Africans chanting in the detention center about making it from Africa, through the scorching Sudanese desert and Libya, to Lampedusa.

    Oct 28, 2016 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare)

  • Nov 17, 2016
    Anthony L Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2016
    A striking look at the European refugee crisis whose fly-on-the-wall directing approach lets it build a revealing portrait of two contrasting realities. Full review on filmotrope. com
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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