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Iuventa (2018)

1h 16m | English | Michele Cinque

Over a thousand migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean this year, trying to make it to Europe. When Frontex reduced EU coastguard missions, the charities were forced to step in. But this year, NGO rescue ships find themselves unable to operate, accused of running a ‘taxi service’ for smugglers. 

In this powerful and moving film, we follow the NGO rescue ship ‘Iuventa’, bought and operated by the Jugend Rettet network of young Europeans who challenge the idea of ‘Fortress Europe’. In 2016 and 2017, it carried out 15 missions, rescuing more than 14,000 people, before it was seized by the Italian government for allegedly helping traffickers— an accusation Jugend Rettet completely denies. 

From the Iuventa’s first voyage in 2016 to the seizure of the ship more than a year later and the fate of those rescued, we follow events as they happen. It’s a complex story, capturing both the drama of the rescues and the political awakening of the young protagonists, who find themselves at the forefront of this horror and death, overwhelmed by the vastness and complexities of the problem. Compelling, urgent viewing.

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