Florence November 25th – December 2nd 2016

International documentary film festival


    USA 2016 101'
    Directed by: Steph Ching, Ellen Martinez
    After six years of conflict in Syria, there are millions of displaced persons. The largest refugee camp in Jordan, Zaatari, is managed by UNHCR and now counts a population of over 80,000 people. The film portrays the daily life at the camp and the communities who have settled down in it, with a special focus on the work done by humanitarian operators and the stories of some of the families who have run away from the horrors of war.

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    2016 Saturday, November 26th, Spazio Alfieri, 4:30 pm - - With the collaboration of Publiacqua and Water Right Foundation

  • Bein gderot
    Between Fences

    Israel, France 2016 85'
    Directed by: Avi Mograbi
    Holot is a detention centre in the desert of Israel, next to the Egyptian border, accommodating asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan who cannot be repatriated and don’t have a chance in Israel either, because of the country’s policy. Technically, it is not a prison, but it looks very much like one. Avi Moghrabi and Chen Alon organize a theatre workshop involving some of these people, who are in the most precarious condition, according to the principles of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. These foresee an artistic and aesthetic journey bound to political and social change, whose point of departure is precisely the events experienced by the asylum seekers.

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    2016 Thursday, december 1st, La Compagnia, 8:45 pm – In collaboration with Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi


    Switzerland 2016 14'
    Directed by: Anne-Claire Adet
    A first-person, sensory immersion in the suffocating experience of living in an underground shelter built during WWII. Asylum seekers are currently locked up in such shelters, dozens of metres deep. The film invites the viewer to experience the anxiety of one of them, Mohammad, who re-evokes his experience of living underground.

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    2016 Sunday, November 27th, Spazio Alfieri, 3 pm - Free Entrance

    Camp Refugee

    France 2016 9'
    Directed by: Ligias Ramos, Leandro Muniz Barreto
    Pictures of Syrian refugees fleeing from civil war are projected at night onto the walls of the city of Paris. The accompanying text illustrates the difficult debate under way in Europe about the refugee issue.

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    2016 Tuesday, November 29th, Istituto Francese, 7:00 pm

    The Mission

    Netherlands 2016 90'
    Directed by: Robert Oey
    The film is about the UN mission in Mali seen through the eyes of a colonel of the Dutch Special Forces, Joost de Wolf. A soldier gifted with mettle and common sense, in 2014 he was appointed deputy CO of the operations conducted by the UN peace mission in Mali. On his arrival, the Malian army attacks the rebel in the region. The colonel is at a loss in trying to keep the peace between the factions and understanding the strategy of the UN leaders.

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    2016 Sunday, November 27th, Spazio Alfieri, 10:30 pm


    Italy 2016 90'
    Directed by: Mauro Bucci
    Hotel Splendid is at once an intimate and collective portrayal of life in a community of migrants from the African coasts who are sheltered in a facility for political asylum seekers in Cesenatico, Italy. The film records the daily experiences in and operation of a hotel used as shelter, intertwining two different story-lines: the dramatic journey undertaken by the migrants to reach Europe, with its load of violence and abuse, and the itinerary that asylum seekers must follow upon their entrance in the refuge until the evaluation procedure is over.

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    2016 Wednesday, November 30th, La Compagnia, 7:15 pm

    Luoghi comuni e domande scomode sui rifugiati

    During WWII, in Switzerland a motto became very popular, so much so that it’s still in fashion: “The boat is full!” Switzerland, as a non-belligerent country, had become one of most coveted destinations for those in need of a safe haven from persecution and from the conflict that had plunged the rest of Europe in blood. The answer to be given to those who were pressing on Switzerland’s borders is well summarized in the poster that Victor Subek made in 1946.

    "Das Boot is voll" (the boat is full) became a slogan that answered both the asylum applications and the accusations of cynicism addressed to the Swiss in those years. Almost a century later, the ideal and material image of society as a boat bursting at the seams and about to sink has become a formidable hyper-icon: from post-war Geneva to the October 2016 protest in Goro, a small village in the province of Ferrara, Italy, it’s a short step; there’s not many a slip twixt “the boat is full” and “enough is enough”. The image of the bursting boat is a recurrent one, it mixes and hybridizes with the current topics and contingencies of the times concerned with these phenomena. On the other hand, the image also refers to the desperate travels of the migrants fleeing from war or famine. An image that has become dramatically familiar.

    Within LOOKING FOR NEVERLAND the Focus that Festival dei Popoli this year devotes to documentaries dealing with the migrants, we wanted to launch a reflection and discussion on this subject by questioning the common sense about the discourse on the refugees. Is the boat actually full? Isn’t this image ambiguous and misleading, one of those figures that intoxicate the collective imagination and language?

    We have invited journalists, social operators, researchers, documentary film-makers to discuss this topic along with the audience of Festival dei Popoli, an institution always ready to go beyond common places and ask (itself) awkward questions.

    Moderator: Vittorio Iervese

    Luigi Achilli, ricercatore EUI
    Giulia Bondi, giornalista
    Emilio Ciarlo , Agenzia Italiana per la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo
    Daniela Consoli, Asgi
    Andrea Marchesini, Direttore Lai-Momo
    Anna Meli, Cospe

    In collaboration with Cospe, TerraProject and Multiverso Firenze

    2016 Sunday, November 27th, Spazio Alfieri, 3 pm - Free Entrance

    On Call

    France 2016 97'
    Directed by: Alice Diop
    We are in the migrants healthcare centre at the hospital Avicenne in Bobigny, near the outskirts of Paris. A world in pain files past our eyes, with people affected by physical and psychological ailments aggravated during their journeys for France and by an extremely precarious daily life. A doctor, supported by a psychiatrist, tries to offer quick medical solutions as well as a welcoming ear. Palpating the bodies, asking questions discreetly and humanely, communicating as best as he can in English, French, or Spanish with patients often on the brink, and writing prescriptions and certificates, Doctor Jean-Pierre Geeraert puts together some pieces of the stories of the human beings who are catapulted by history into his ward. (Cineuropa)

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    2016 Tuesday, November 29th, Istituto Francese, 7:00 pm

    Banned Bodies

    France 2016 12'
    Directed by: Jérémie Reichenbach
    In the form of a poem, of visual song, the voices of some migrants describe their experience in Calais, being confined in the largest camp of Europe, called “jungle” because there the individuals, stripped of all human dignity, live in a state of utter degradation, their banned bodies. In the freeze-frame of the suspended time of Calais, the migrant body vanishes. Only their voice, flesh that sings, tells the pain unceasingly.

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    2016 Sunday, November 27th, La Compagnia, 6:30pm

    Those Who Jump

    Denmark 2016 82'
    Directed by: Moritz Siebert, Estephan Wagner, Abou Bakar Sidibé
    In the north of Morocco lies the Spanish enclave of Melilla, a piece of Europe on African land. Over a thousand of African migrants live on the mountain, peering hopefully at the fence that separates Morocco and Spain. Abou from Mali, at once character and cameraman, is one of them. Along with his comrades, he has been trying to jump over that fence for more than a year. Thanks to the video camera, at least he has found a way to express himself and give meaning to his existence. “When I film, I feel like I exist.”

    2016 Monday, November 28th, Spazio Alfieri 3:00 pm


    Italy 2016 15'
    Directed by: Haider Rashid
    No Borders is the first Italian film made in virtual reality (VR). Elio Germano guides us in a few Italian centres for migrants whose accommodation capacity is inadequate compared to the numbers of people actually sheltered. A 360° journey to immerse into and appreciate places that hit the headlines every day, sheltering thousands of people in transit.

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    2016 November 25th, La Compagnia, 9:00pm


    Germany 2016 21'
    Directed by: Sebastian Mez
    What remains of Osman after 7 months spent in a Sinai-based ‘torture camp’, in the middle of his journey full of hope from Eritrea to Israel, is an unutterable memory and a body marked by violence. The entirety of Osman’s body is tainted by a soul-drying story, a soul now as arid as the land where he fell prisoner. Sebastian Mez decided to retrace this journey on his own, travelling across landscapes of ferocious beauty and planets that we can’t even begin to imagine. Equally unimaginable is the experience of Osman, an alien astronaut who tries to land on a new world.

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    2016 Thursday, December 1st, La Compagnia, 8:45 pm


    Germany 2016 34'
    Directed by: Stefan Kessissoglou
    The film follows the story of two asylum seekers in the Czech Republic and interviews the official in charge of their destiny. Thus, a very interesting reflection is developed about the decision-making mechanisms that determine whether the status of refugee is granted or not, highlighting how elusive this subject can be and how difficult it is to prove the condition of political persecution once and for all. In fact, the burden of proof lies with the rules (and will) of the reception system.

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    2016 Sunday, November 27th, Spazio Alfieri, 3 pm - Free Entrance

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