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Seydou Sarr and Moustapha Fall in Io Capitano (IMDB)

Io Capitano is a dramatic, subtitled film that recounts the adventures of two African teenage boys who – against the advice of their parents – decide to journey together from Senegal to Europe to escape from poverty and disadvantage. Source: Australian Catholics. 

The film is a multinational co-production from Italy, Belgium and France and is based on an original idea of director Garrone. Dialogue is in French and Wolof (a widely spoken language in Senegal), and is subtitled in English.

The film’s plotline is inspired by actual stories of the experience of migrants who regularly undertake the hazardous journey from Africa to Europe to escape from extreme poverty. The film was shot in Senegal, Morocco and Italy.

In the film, Seydou (Sarr) and Moussa (Fall) desperately want to escape from the challenges they face daily in Dakar, Senegal, and find hope and freedom in Europe. 

The boys are found to be travelling on false passports and are separated. Seydou is tortured but manages to escape. The boys reunite in Tripoli, and resume their journey. Under duress, Seydou manages to steer a boatload of migrant escapees to safety.

The film is a story of hope and survival across incredible landscapes and communicates a wide range of emotions – from debased levels of humanity to the heights of joy. 

The film authentically depicts a risky journey and freely uses fantasy and fable to accentuate its dramatic effects. One of the migrants, for instance, is photographed continuing her journey dressed colourfully while flying happily aloft through the clouds.

Io Capitano gives the migrant crisis a human face and conveys migrant hopes and dreams in a personal way. 

Review by Peter Sheehan, Jesuit Media.

Io Capitano: Starring: Seydou Sarr, Moustapha Fall. Directed by Matteo Garrone. Rated MA15+. Restricted. (Strong themes and violence). 122 min.


Io Capitano (Jesuit Media via Australian Catholics)