February 28, 2022

OPEN ARMS at Cinema Farnese in Rome, 21 February 2022


More than 130 students at Cinema Farnese, in Rome, attended the screening of the movie “OPEN ARMS” directed by Marcel Barrena, the movie that tells the story of the Spanish NGO, founded by Òscar Camps Gausachs in 2015.

Prof. Silvia Morganti, from IRSIFAR, and Mr. Marcello Scalisi, UNIMED Director, opened the event with an introductory speech about the importance to reflect on the Mediterranean Sea as a means of connection among cultures and people.

Even though the public was young, the interest and the overflow of emotion was palpable in the room, a sign that the profound meaning of the movie shook their conscience. Probably it could not have been otherwise, since migration and the crossing of the Mediterranean Sea is something that occurs everyday and that we all hear about in the news.

After the movie, the students had the opportunity to exchange views with the film director in live connection from Spain. Indeed, he brought to light some interesting facts and also explained that almost all the movie is based on the true story of the association Open Arms and that many people in the rescue scenes are not actors but actual migrants and refugees in Lesbos, Greece. He also revealed how some scenes in the sea were filmed and the challenges he faced during the shooting.

During the debate, the students had also the chance to interact with Veronica Alfonsi, spokesperson for Open Arms Italia, to better understand how the organisation was founded and how it works today.

Surely the movie raised awareness about forced migration as the students asked how could they positively contribute to the cause. The film director emphasised the fact that watching such a movie and spread the word means already a lot because everyone can make a difference and be engaged.