News from the Locarno Festival

Pescatori di corpi

Concorso Cineasti del presente

Pescatori di corpi



After ‘A iucata, winner of the Pardino d’oro in 2013, director Michele Pennetta, who studied at SUPSI in Ticino and ECAL in Lausanne, brings to Locarno another Sicilian story. Whereas ‘A iucata was about clandestine horse races in the Catania area, this time he answers the call about the outcast tragedy in the Mediterranean sea, already explored by other documentary directors showing the relationship between Sicilian people and migrants - Concorso Internazionale 2014 President Gianfranco Rosi, who won the Berlin Golden Bear with Fuocoammare, or Lampedusa in Winter by Jakob Brossmann, selected for the Semaine de la critique in 2015. Compared to them Pennetta puts death and despair out of frame, using the camera as a sonar scanning faces, gestures, silences, looking for the reflections of the drama happening in open sea. 

The main characters are an immigrant who, once on land, found shelter in a dismissed ship, spending his days calling his family left behind in Syria, and a Sicilian fishing boat crew, who in addition to fish and shellfish find more and more clothes in their nets, waiting for radio calls asking to participate in rescue missions. In such a world, crowded with castaways, whose lives float between a painful past and an uncertain future, how is it possible to even just imagine the absence of support? Yet so many people think it’s a waste of time trying to recover those hundreds of corpses lying at the bottom of the sea, just to return them to their families. These people are outcasts too, without the compass of ethics or even just compassion, in a sea of cynicism.  


Sergio Fant

Follow us