Fire at Sea – Nov. 20

On Sunday, November 20th, at 7pm at the Emerson Center, The Bozeman Doc Series presents the Montana premiere of the award-winning documentary, Fire at Sea.

One of the most critically acclaimed films of the year, Gianfranco Rosi’s documentary observes Europe’s migrant crisis from the vantage point of a small Mediterranean island where hundreds of thousands of refugees, fleeing war and poverty, have landed in recent decades.

The first documentary to ever win the top award at the prestigious Berlin Film Festival, Fire at Sea chronicles life on Lampedusa: once a peaceful island, now a major entry point for African refugees into Europe. There, we meet Samuele, a feisty 12-year-old boy from a family of fishermen who, like most locals on the island, lives simply, and for whom the migrant crisis is simply a peripheral fact of life. Nearby we witness thousands of men, women and children trying to survive the crossing from Africa in boats that are too small for such a journey. Bridging the divide between the people of the island and the migrants is doctor Pietro Bartolo, a deeply compassionate man, weary after years of treating migrant casualties and performing autopsies on the dead.

Filmmaker Gianfranco Rosi masterfully combines harrowing rescues at sea and the plight of the migrants with daily life on Lampedusa, and in so doing creates a remarkable narrative that jolts us into a new understanding of what is really happening in the Mediterranean today. With its emphasis on the everyday, the film humanizes an ongoing tragedy we know only through the abstract sensationalism of media headlines.

Recently nominated for best feature documentary of the year awards by both the International Documentary Association and the Cinema Eye Honors, Fire at Sea is already generating Oscar buzz.

“Beautiful, mysterious and moving…Fire at Sea is masterly film-making.” The Guardian

“Impressionistic and intensely absorbing…Fire at Sea is not the documentary you’d expect about the migrant crisis. It’s better.” New York Times

“Harrowing…a masterful documentary…Fire at Sea goes about its business in a quiet way, with unobtrusive yet powerful simplicity…” Los Angeles Times

Doors open at 6:30 pm, and the film begins at 7pm. Tickets are available at the door or before the show at Cactus Records and Movie Lovers.

Tickets are also available online here.

The series will continue every other Sunday through Christmas. Starting January 12, the series will move to every other Thursday through April.