Jonas Carpignano’s Mediterranea confirms the saying that there is no place like home. It is a reminder to all corrupt governments the world over to the ills they expose their compatriots when they stockpile their nations’ commonwealth for themselves and their cronies alone. Agitators and rebel leaders, if they could catch a glimpse of Mediterranea, may, perhaps, understand that converting citizens to refugees through violent conflicts barely serves their interests, whatever those may be.
Ayiva (Koudous Seihon) and Abas (Alassane Sy) set out from their native Burkina Faso, travelling through the Mediterranean Sea on their way to Europe in search of the proverbial Golden Fleece. Travelling through Algeria and Libya before arriving Italy, they face harrowing experiences at sea, barely living through the situation. They are jolted when they reach Europe and discover that the grass is not greener on the other side.
The story creates a lot of expectations at the onset, but the plot drags for an unreasonably long time, failing to meet some of the hopes it builds in the viewer’s mind. The film somewhat seems like a documentary that seeks to expose the vagaries of sea voyage more than anything else.
The film could have been better paced, thereby keeping the viewer in suspense, but Caprignano dispenses with brevity and makes his audience almost lose interest in the story save for those desirous to discover what really becomes of Ayiva and Abas. Up until the end of the film, Abas’s character hardly undergoes any sort of development; he just looks like someone mandated to escort Ayiva on Ayiva’s journey.
If the film’s plot was taut with Abas’s character better developed, the film would have been a lot more interesting. Be that as it may, the numbing violence and intolerance depicted in Mediterranea acquaints the viewer with the kind of uncertainty that migrants face as they try to escape difficult situations at home.