Benvenuti in Italia – Welcome to Italy

A documentary by
Aluk Amiri, Hamed Dera, Hevi Dilara, Zakaria Mohamed Ali, Dagmawi Yimer, 2012 (60′).

Five shorts written, shot and directed by young immigrants to Italy. A mosaic of stories providing an inside approach to the migrant condition, together with a composite portrait of Italy and its reception system as perceived by the new arrivals.

Benvenuti in Italia (Welcome to  Italy) is a documentary in five episodes, shot by ten hands, produced by the Archive of Migrant Memories and supported by the lettera27 and Open Society foundations in collaboration with the Italian language school Asinitas and the Circolo Gianni Bosio (a centre specializing in popular culture). The authors of the film come from a wide variety of countries and were selected regardless of their having any experience in the audiovisual field. Many had never held a video camera before. After a period of training they chose to set their stories within the different contexts of their arrival in Italy.

Aluk Amiri, a young Afghan who came to Italy when he was 15, tells of the tribulations of his alter ego Nasir, on the day of his 18th birthday, in a flat provided by the Municipality of Venice for political refugees.
Zakaria Mohamed Ali, forced to leave Mogadishu after the assassination of his teacher of journalism and other colleagues, gives voice to a young footballer’s dreams of glory. Dadir, a soccer champion in his own country, has to travel from Milan to Rome without a railway ticket in order to play with the “Somali national team of Rome”.
In her episode, Hevi Dilara, a Kurdish refugee, tells of the disorientation of a young family that has just disembarked and is now in a first reception centre in Herculaneum.
The episode filmed by Hamed Dera, from Burkina Faso, shows the activities and guests of “Chez Margherita”, a boarding house that had become a landmark for the Burkinabé community in Naples, shortly before it closed.
The Ethiopian refugee filmmaker, Dagmawi Yimer, presents Mohamed Ba, the Senegalese actor and cultural mediator, while he describes how a stranger suddenly knifed him at a bus stop on a beautiful sunny day.

Further information in Benvenuti in Italia – The project.

Participants in the project attended a training course on documentary filming, conducted by Renaud Personnaz from the Ateliers Varan, producing six brief documentaries on the subject of work:

Roma arrota (Sharpening Rome) by Aluk Amiri

L’attesa (Waiting) by Zakaria Mohamed Ali

Bilal by Hevi Dilara

Friziorat by Dagmawi Yimer

Centro Campista (Midfielder) by Mahamady Dera

A lavoro (To work) by Desislava Stoichkova