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Immigration in seven stories


"The European laws on immigration, including the ones in Italy, are hypocritical. To maintain the same level of development in the next fifty years, Europe needs to have immigrants. And yet we make them work in our countries but we don't acknowledge their basic rights". The words of Jorge Semprun, the Spanish writer, screen writer and intellectual who moved to France many years ago, and who was the former Minister for Culture in the Spanish governments from '88 - '91, a survivor from the concentration camp at Buchenwald, anti-Franco and now the person who's come up with the idea of The Lights of Brindisi.
It's a TV event which involves 35 European channels all putting on special programming on the theme of immigration in Europe, which will be broadcast at the same time in all the countries on the evening on October 21. The project, which came from Canal+ under the direction of Lescure, proposes 90 Minutes - the backstage of Fortress Europe, an inquiry done in four films about immigration in France, Italy, Spain and the Nordic countries. The Italian TV channels involved in the project are Tele+, RaiSat, Marco Polo, Cinecinemas and INN.

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Semprun came up with the title thinking about the Albanians who set off in their dinghies between 1990 and 1991 travelling to the Italian coast: "At that time all the papers reported about the cries which went up when the immigrants saw the coastline of Puglia. Are the lights the mirage of the West or do they signal bad times ahead?". And the intellectual who's been adopted by France, says that The Lights of Brindisi is just the first stage, and he's invited other European directors, including Nanni Moretti, to get involved in the project by making a film about immigration: "Ken Loach could direct a film about the disembarkation of the Moroccans on the Andalusian coast. Even Alejandro Amenabar, his Arabic name is the perfect incarnation of European History, could take part". In the meantime Tele+ in Italy has taken up the same theme and asked 7 authors to make 7 short films, which will be shown from October 14-20 on Tele+ grigio (22:45). The films are: Il contratto by Guido Chiesa, Nisansala la tranquilla by Elisabetta Lodoli, La domenica delle palme by Edmond Budina, Bollywood-Palermo by Roberta Torre, Ocuna by Beppe Gaudino, L'approdo by Marco Bechis and B. by Pappi Corsicato.
There'll also be a selection of films, including the TV premiere of Tornando a casa by Vincenzo Marra (October 18, 23:00, Tele+ Bianco).
Other short works, which won the competition, "I'm not from here but I know this country well", are in the schedules from October 9 (22:45, Tele+ Grigio).
Finally, every day, from 07:00 to 21:00 on Tele+ bianco, there'll be people from the Italian world of culture and entertainment giving their point of view on immigration.

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