- Jakob Brossmann
The Italian “refugee island” of Lampedusa is in the firm grip of winter tristesse. The tourists have left, while the remaining refugees fight to be taken to the mainland. After a fire destroys the ferry that connects the island to Italy, the mayor, Giusi Nicolini, and the local fishermen struggle for a new ship. While the refugees are finally transferred by plane, the fishermen occupy the port in order to protest. The island is isolated and as food supplies run out the protesters start to disagree with each other. The Coast Guard tries to prevent the tragedies of the upcoming season out in the sea, while many islanders try to describe the role of Lampedusa to the never ending stream of reporters that visit the island. Throughout, this tiny community at the edge of Europe is engaged in a desperate fight for dignity, and for solidarity with those who many consider the cause of the ongoing crisis: the African boat people.