Italy has selected Gianfranco Rosi’s Notturno, as the country’s official entry for the Academy Award in the Best International Film category. From the Oscar-nominated director of Fire at Sea, the observational documentary captures the peoples and places ravaged along the borders between Syria, Iraq, Kurdistan, and Lebanon.
Shot over two years on the borders between Syria, Iraq, Kurdistan, and Lebanon, Notturno depicts the routines of people trying to survive in the war-torn region. Eschewing the typical depictions of battles and violence, Rosi probes the collateral psychological trauma that the people endure by focusing on the fragility of their day-to-day lives: A group of women pray at the location of previous atrocities. A man navigates thick marshes in order to fish at night. A young boy wakes up early each morning and waits by the side of a road hoping to find work for the day.