Gianfranco Rosi’s Fire at Sea documents the parallel worlds of refugees and residents on the South Mediterranean island of Lampedusa; the takes are long, giving the viewer time to meditate on the unfolding refugee disaster. Like Agnes Varda’s 1964 film La Pointe Courte, the director employs local residents to be themselves, providing a context for a world beyond our comprehension. Fishermen, it seems, understand the fragility of life. And yet, for all its powerful imagery – foil blankets electric at night, a perfectly made bed – there is something missing. The images are not what they could be, still and empty perhaps as intended, but also missing the chance to engage and draw the viewer in. That said, it’s still the best film of the year.
I dream of looking outside the image.
Escaping from the frame.
Considering what could be.
Getting my head on different.