Set on the tiny isle of Linosa, halfway between Sicily and Tunisia, “Terraferma” follows a crusty old sailor, Ernesto (Mimmo Cuticchio), and his naive grandson Filippo (Filippo Pucillo), who still run an old fishing boat. Filippo’s widowed mother, Giulietta (Sicilian beauty Donatella Finocchiaro), decides — like many of her neighbors — that renting out rooms to tourists and offering sightseeing cruises might better pay the bills.
|Rating||out of 5|
|Opens||Opens April 6, 2013|
When Ernesto and Filippo rescue some drowning refugees from an overloaded raft, the cops shut them down for having aided “illegal immigration.” The conflicted Filippo is then hit with a profound moral dilemma when he comes across some more desperate refugees one stormy night at sea …
Director Emanuele Crialese (“Respiro”) looks beyond the media stereotypes of desperate third-world refugees and cold-hearted first-world Europeans to show how this process affects individuals. “Terraferma” is a warmhearted, compassionate tale, simply told but never maudlin or knee-jerk PC; it’s well worth a look.