The Italian Cultural Week celebrations continued over the weekend with the screening of the movie il sole dentro (the Bright Flight), a movie based on the true life story of two Guineans Yaguine and Fode who attempted to stowaway on a plane to Brussels but died during the flight.
Although the advertised film, “Pinocchio” by Luigi Comencini and Nino Manfredo could not be screened due to technical challenges, the replacement film il sole dentro served guest just fine.
Going to great lengths to ensure her guest were entertained, Italian ambassador to Ghana Laura Carpini promised the evening would be eventful and true to her words copious smiles could be found on the faces of guests which included Ghanaians, Italians, Americans, British, French and Chinese.
Il sole dentro( the Bright Flight) released in 2012 and directed by Paolo Bianchini with casts such as Angela Finocchiaro, Francesco Salvi, Diego Bianchi, Gaetano Fresa and Fallou Cama is an award winning movie about the lives of Yaguine Koita and Fode Tounkara who stowaway in a truck compartment of a Brussels bound plane to deliver a self-written letter to “their Excellencies: the members and leaders of Europe” in a bid to reach the European parliament and seek assistance for fellow Guineans back home who need schools, health post and other necessities. Unfortunately when the plane landed in Brussels, the two had died in the compartment leaving only the letter to serve as mouthpiece of their desires.
Interestingly the crew lady who found the letter and the dead teenagers relocated to Guinea to begin charity work and in the process organise football sessions for the boy as a way of keeping them away from trouble. One such pupil of Madam Chiara aka ‘Pasipadori’ (pasta and beans) is Thabo who was lured by an agent with promises of making it big in Italy.
Upon reaching Italy and training with a local team in Bari however, it soon became apparent that the agent had just siphoned funds from Thabo’s family. Under the guise of sending Thabo for trials in Fiorentina, the agent abandons the young boy at a fuel station. It however didn’t take long before his best friend Rocco who had also resigned from the club teamed up with Thabo as the two journey from Italy to N’dula in Guinea where Thabo hails from.
Facing hardships through the journey, the two boys would land at Tunis, get transported to a desert where they meet an interesting character in Padre X, a humanist and philosopher of a sort. Padre X gives the boys meals to eat with water but touching on the discrimination against Africa Padre had this to say “the first man was born here, a little respect can help” he adds “they call it third world and you know who did, the other two”
Thabo and Rocco meanwhile continue their tough journey made worse as people seem not to know the village called N’dula but with luck the boys do arrive home thanks to a UNICEF worker who gives them a ride along the route.
With Rocco deemed an illegal immigrant, papers had to be prepared or regularize his stay in Guinea lest the authorities raise concerns and the coach ‘Pasipadori’ falls on the one man she knows can help, the Italian ambassador in the country who indeed helps but not after enumerating the numerous request which keep coming in despite the lack of resources.
In the end Rocco the Italian stays in Guinea and as the boy whose father is jailed and whose mother has been snatched by death puts it “home is not where you are born but where you are loved”. It is little wonder that il sole dentro has won 5 international awards since its release. It is a film which touched on illegal immigration, the power of the races working together, friendship, humanity and how family can include others outside a blood line.
As her Excellency Laura Carpini noted after the screening in an interaction with this writer, the issue of migration is crucial made urgent by recent conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Libya and its attendant humanitarian crisis. She said as Italy occupies the chair of the European Union, a summit has been scheduled for November to discuss the conflict and refugee crisis in the conflict areas to chart the way forward.
The Italian Cultural week continues on Monday with a film screening “Generazione Mille Euro” at the Goethe Institute and then rounded up on Tuesday with the film “Sciallia” by Francesco Bruni also at the Goethe Institute.