Mohamed and the fisherman

A documentary by Marco Leopardi

A simple and yet powerful story about an incredible rescue in the Mediterranean Sea. The last survivor on a sinking boat departed from Africa, after a week without food nor water. The story of a reunion that brings hope and humanity.

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Mohamed is a young African man who lives in a dilapidated block of flats in the outskirts of a major European city, supporting himself through different odd-jobs and lodging in a small apartment with other five people. He is one of the many migrants that come to Europe illegally every day by crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Apparently he is just another young man, but his story is one of a kind.

Mohamed came to Italy – precisely to Lampedusa – after a terrible voyage: he stayed nearly a week and a half in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea (between Libya and Sicily) clinging to a floating piece of wood. He is the only survivor among the 47 people that left Africa with him, on a human trafficker’s boat. While drifting away for six days, he watched his companions loose their lucidity, forsake hope, and ultimately letting themselves die, one after another. All the other boats met soon after their own started shipping water and braking down, had turned their backs on them, on their cries for help. All but one, Vito Cittadino’s boat, a high-spirited and brave captain of Mazara, who saved Mohamed when he was nearly dead.

Mohamed then received an humanitarian pass as a refugee in Italy, but unable to find a job here he decided to go to France instead where he had relatives. But there he does not have a job permit. Vito the captain, remembers vividly Mohamed’s rescue, because it happened totally by chance, like a true miracle. He often thinks about that young man: he says that it was the most extraordinary of all the rescues he had done at sea. He thinks of the young man as his own son now, as if Vito gave him life: “Finding someone the way I found him, it’s a great fortune. In the first place for Mohamed who survived, but also for me, I feel like I was graced by God, as if I did a miracle thanks to him!”.

When the Captain came to know through common acquaintances about Mohamed’s new difficult situation he invited him to Mazara del Vallo and promised him that he would teach him how to work as a fisherman an that he could stay and work with him on his boat.


Details: FullHD, 52’, Italy, 2013
Theme: Society, Human Rights
Authors: Ludovica Jona, Marta Zaccaron and Marco Leopardi
Director: Marco Leopardi
Music: Rosario Di Bella
Producer: Marta Zaccaron
Production: Quasar Multimedia
Status: in distribution
With the support of: MEDIA Development and FVG Audiovisual Film Fund.
Developed at Eurodoc 2011.



Special Audience Award at Festival del Documentario d’Abruzzo 2013; “Religions ans Sociery” Award at Religion Today Film Festival 2013, Finalist at Prix Europa 2013; 5th at URTI International Radio and Television Union 2014.

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