The Invasion of Lampedusa

"A real gem of a film that tackled one of the most important issues of our time."

(BBC, 2011)

In the wake of the Arab Spring and long before the current refugee crisis, the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa saw the arrival of over 40,000 migrants from Tunisia and Libya, all seeking refuge or a better life in Europe.  Situated just 70 miles from the north African coast, the island soon becomes the front line of Europe's immigration crisis - its small migrant reception centre overflows, the island's tourist economy faces meltdown and locals openly revolt, blockading the small port and riot in the streets.

The islanders are as divided as Europe on to how to respond to the crisis. But local lawyer Paola La Rosa comes to see the bigger picture. "Europe and the USA got really enthusiastic about the freedom movements in North Africa," she says. "They didn't understand that these peoples had a revolution in order to be free, and fundamental this freedom is the freedom to move. The West would like them to be free, but at home...".

Nominated for Best Documentary, One World Media awards

Watch the full film below.

Clip (3 mins)

The Invasion of Lampedusa - BBC


"A real gem of a film that tackled one of the most important issues of our time in a humorous, compassionate and revealing way. Like all the best films, it successfully focussed on the particular in order to illuminate the universal, and presented an anatomy of human migration that should be required viewing for all the governments of Europe." One World Jury citation


Narrator: Andrew Sachs

Film Editor: David G. Hill

Composer: Mat Davidson

Producer: Lottie Gammon

Executive Producer: Angus Macqueen

Filmed and Directed by Olly Lambert