PRIO and Frontline Club Oslo invite you to a screening of the documentary Closed Sea (Italy, 2012), followed by a discussion with director Stefano Liberti, PRIO researcher María Hernández Carretero and NOAS adviser Florentina Gramam, moderated by Le Monde Diplomatique's Truls Lie. The film raises important questions about the dilemmas involved in protecting borders and protecting migrants who seek to cross these borders. The film documents the experiences of refugees from Eritrea and Somalia coming to Italy to seek asylum, and this opens for discussion about European asylum and border management policies. It also more broadly reflects experiences shared by migrants trying to reach Europe by sea, whether or not they can be defined as refugees according to the 1951 UN Refugee convention. The film thus raises more general questions about the human aspects of European border control efforts.

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Closed Sea
Italy, 2012, 60 minutes, directed by Stefano Liberti and Andrea Segre. Watch trailer here.

Since March 2011, after the outbreak of the Libyan War, many African migrants and refugees escaped from the country. While a part of this flow has found shelter in refugee camps at the border with Tunisia, others managed to reach Italian coasts by boat. Many of them had been previously pushed back by Italy as a result of an agreement signed by Berlusconi and Gaddafi in 2008. Since the signature of this deal, all migrants intercepted at sea by the Italian navy were forcibly returned to Libya, where they were exposed to any kind of abuses by local police. Our documentary aims to tell what actually happened to African refugees on the Italian ships during these “push back operations” and in Libyan prisons after their deportation. We met our witnesses in Shousha refugee camp, at the border between Libya and Tunisia, and in two reception camps for asylum seekers (C.A.R.A.) in southern Italy. Their interviews constitute the main part of the documentary, along with a session of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, where one of our witnesses sued Italy. The Court has recently condemned Italy for violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.


Tickets are 80 kr (50 kr for Cinemateket members) and can be bought at the door.

Frontline Club Oslo

Frontline Club Oslo organizes and hosts debates and documentary film screenings, gathering filmmakers, journalists, photographers and intellectuals for weekly events at Filmens Hus in Oslo.