We are facing a global crisis in immigration as millions of people around the world are moving from one place to another, facing hunger, homelessness, poverty, health crises, hatred, and rejection. We need more movies that enable us to empathize with these men, women and children who are suffering as they seek to find a better life for themselves and their loved ones. We recommend this movie for this practice.
Mediterranea is about the journey of two brothers from Burkina Faso in western Africa to Europe. Ayiva (Koudous Seihon) and Abas (Alassane Sy) join a band of 20 other pilgrims who pay a heavy fee to follow a guide through the desert in Libya. The long trek is a hardship for those who are physically weak, and they are attacked by robbers at one point. Reaching the sea, they climb into a small boat, even though no one knows how to navigate with it. After a storm at sea, they are picked up by a passing ship and taken to Italy.
There Ayiva and his brother meet with other Burkina Faso immigrants. Ayiva talks on Skype with his sister in Africa who is looking after his seven-year-old daughter. He and Abas find employment as farmworkers picking oranges for an Italian family whose seeming hospitality toward the Africans has a patronizing edge to it. The father turns down Ayiva's request for getting the papers necessary for permanent residence. His hopes are almost completely dashed in a race riot that vividly shows the hatred of many Italians toward African outsiders.