A close look at the shocking struggles of illegal immigrants travelling across the Mediterranean, from Africa to Europe.
Somewhere in the desert of North Africa there are cadavers lying around, never ceasing to stare at the dreamlike landscape of deep blue skies and golden sand. With blank holes in their skulls and blackened skin, they fall prey for grave robbers specializing in illegal immigrants jumping the makeshift boats sailing up to Sicily.

Those who manage to hold on to life on the boisterous waters embark on an equally dangerous journey to mainland Europe. Following the paths of immigrants balancing their lives in the shadow economy, this film unlocks a merciless narrative echoing the existential fright and the ceaseless longing for loved ones. Instead of plainly appealing to empathy, it confronts the viewers with the universal fear of abandonment and lonesomeness.

Director Ditte Haarløv Johnsen leads us from mesmerising scenery to industrial landscapes, into dingy, dimly lit rooms while letting her subjects tell their story in their own words. With careful direction and insightful visual storytelling, the documentary follows how they take chances to get on with their lives – or how miserably they fail at building a brighter future for their families.

Mirella Matrai

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