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STRANGE FISH

How does it feel to see a dead body floating in the sea like a strange fish? In Zarzis, a Tunisian fishing village on the Libyan border, we meet three fishermen who have involuntarily become rescuers at sea.

How does it feel to see a dead body floating in the sea like a strange fish? In Zarzis, a Tunisian fishing village on the border of war-torn Libya, fishing has become a source of fear. We meet Salah Mecherek, captain of a sardine boat, Chamseddine Bourassine, boat captain and president of the fishermen’s association, and Chamseddine Marzoug, ex-fisherman and volunteer for the Red Crescent. Every time Salah goes out at sea, he fears bumping into something strange that does not belong there. Chamseddine Bourassine founded the fishermen’s association after the Tunisian revolution with the objective of coordinating the response to the rising migration crisis, while Chamseddine Marzoug ended up with the most horrific job: he became the gravedigger for the unknowns, advocating to find a decent graveyard for the corpses found on the shore. With the recent blocking of ships by the Italian government, the fishermen of Zarzis are worried that the situation will only grow worse than it has been for the last 15 years, leaving them alone with more dead at sea. Chamseddine Marzoug recalls the last shipwreck, where “only one out of 120 survived, by swimming to the shore”. The community of fishermen is a silent portrait of the refugee tragedy that has reached crisis proportions in the Mediterranean.

Human Interest / Current Affairs
Film by Giulia Bertoluzzi
Length 52’ HD
Production Small Boss, with the support of CIHAEM Bari, NEMO project, AICS, Migration Media Award, 2018
Original Title Strange Fish