On Our Radar: Jonas Carpignano’s ‘Mediterranea’

Mediterranea is a timely and eye-opening look at the death-defying struggle of African migrants as they risk everything to start a new life in Europe only to seemingly swap one marginalized life for another.


2015 once again brought the global refugee crisis to the fore. Between the drowning of Aylan Kurdi (a 3-year-old Syrian boy), the Paris terror attacks and Donald Trump’s Islamophobic tirades anti-immigrant fears and conversations around immigration have continued to grow. The timing couldn’t be more profound and vital for Jonas Carpignano’s Mediterranea.


Fleshed out from Carpaignano’s 2012 short A Chjàna, the film follows Ayiva (Koudous Seihon) and Abas (Alassane Sy) two Burkinabe friends determined to make it to Italy from Burkina Faso in order to find work and provide for their families back home. Unfortunately after surviving the journey—desert bandits, a treacherous sea voyage, arrest—nothing can prepare the two men for the hostility and violence that awaits them. A harrowing tale of survival told with vivid realism which immerses viewers in the heart of a humanitarian crisis that for too long and too many has been a lived reality. Watch the trailer below.



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