Archive of films Mediterranea / Mediterranea

Germany / USA / United Kingdom / Italy / France
2015, 107 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2015

Ayiva and Abas are part of a group of immigrants who undergo a distressing journey across the sea from Africa to Italy. Ayiva uses sheer willpower to find his footing, while Abas first succumbs to resignation and then to hatred toward everything in the new land. The pair embody the two fundamental approaches to the situation facing immigrants from countries with completely different cultures after they arrive in Europe.


Although the story’s focus is on the young African man Abas and his older friend Ayiva, every now and then the director has them blend in with the large group of African immigrants barely eking out a living in a small Italian town. The first twenty minutes of the film depict their journey from Africa to Europe in a way that makes us feel exposed to the same inhuman conditions as they are. After reaching the Italian shore, they go through all the trials familiar from news reports: sub-standard housing, the vain quest for work, mounting aggression as the consequence of despair and dashed hopes, and having to face the ostracism and brutality of the local inhabitants. Here, too, the director tries to pull the viewer into the events unfolding onscreen. His film feels neither fabulated nor artificially dramatic. Although he reveals many hidden contexts, he is capable of making us think that he is merely recording reality in its rawest form and that it is we who have begun to reflect upon it with understanding.

Zdena Škapová

About the director

Jonas Carpignano

Jonas Carpignano (b. 1984, New York) spent his childhood between Rome and New York, and later attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut. He has lived and worked in Calabria for the past five years, and in 2012 he attended the Sundance Screenwriters & Directors Lab, where he won a prestigious award. His two short films, A Chjàna (2011) and A Ciambra (2014), could be seen as preparations for his feature-length debut as writer and director, screened as part of this year’s Critics’ Week in Cannes. In the first, inspired by racial unrest in Italy, we encounter the character of Ayiva, the protagonist of Mediterranea. The director uses a subjective point of view and avoids repeating established truths, instead capturing the authentic atmosphere of the events. He has a long-standing interest in the lives of racial minorities in Europe, perhaps motivated by his own mixed background.


Mantarraya NDM
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E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Another View
Director: Jonas Carpignano
Screenplay: Jonas Carpignano
Dir. of Photography: Wyatt Garfield
Music: Benh Zeitlin, Dan Romer
Editor: Nico Leunen, Affonso Gonçalves, Sanabel Cherqaoui
Art Director: Ascanio Viarigi
Producer: Jon Coplon, Gwyn Sannia
Production: Audax Films, Blu Grotto, Court 13 DCM, Good Films, Good Lap Production, Grazka Taylor Productions, Hyperion Media Group, Le Grisbi, Maiden Voyage Films, Nomadic Independence, Sunset Junction, Treehouse Pictures
Cast: Alassane Sy, Koudous Seihon
Sales: Mantarraya NDM


Jonas Carpignano

Fiorella Moretti

Sales Agent


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