Monday, February 20, 2017
Two documentaries on the plight of refugees off the Italian coast and the Greek coast, respectively, have received Oscar nominations this year.
In Fire at Sea, the Italian Coast Guard is constantly searching the open sea for makeshift boats overflowing with hundreds of souls, most of them women and children.
Rossi's documentary captures the drama. In one instance, one member of the Coast Guard receives a desperate call from a woman who is pleading for help. Time is of the essence; if the Coast Guard does not get to them immediately, they will drown.
Rossi's documentary shows the migrant drama unfolding next to the quiet lives of unassuming islanders.
The refugee crisis is also at the center of Matziaraki's 4.1 Miles. The film chronicles around-the-clock rescue missions off the Greek island of Lesbos. Kyriakos, a member of the Greek Coast Guard and the main character in the story, says that he and his team are called to rescue 200 people per hour.