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In this acclaimed film which won top directing and acting prizes at the Venice Film Festival, writer-director Garrone presents a “reverse shot” of the immigration experience while unfurling an epic, cinematographically magnificent odyssey from West Africa to Italy. The story is told through the mind’s eye and experiences of two Senegalese teenagers living in Dakar who yearn for a brighter future in Europe. Yet between their dreams and reality lies a treacherous journey through a labyrinth of checkpoints, the scorched Saharan desert, a fetid North African prison and the vast waters of the Mediterranean where thousands have died packed inside vessels barely fit for passage.

This is storytelling at its most visceral, painted on a broad canvas that reminded me of a saga by David Lean. In a year when all five Oscar contenders for International Film are so worthy, this one captured my heartFebruary 23, 2024 | Full Review…

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Leonard Maltinleonardmaltin.com

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