53 minutes, 2018
Director : Giulia BERTOLUZZI (Italy)
Production : Small Boss (Italy)
“Strange Fish” echoes Billie Holiday’s song “Strange Fruit” in which, to general indifference, violence against coloured people is taken as normal, with « black bodies swinging in the southern breeze, strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees». In the southern Mediterranean the feeling is the same. The fishermen in Zarzis, a Tunisian town on the borders of Libya, set out each day wondering whether they will find a strange fish in their nets, the bloated corpse of a drowned emigrant. But Bertoluzzi’s documentary does not only show this drama, with its all-pervading indifference. It rather shows the deep and human response of the town’s anonymous heroes. For 15 years, these fishermen have helped and saved thousands of people. “And if we find them already dead, we help them as well – we bury them”, says Chamseddine Marzoug.
Giulia BERTOLUZZI is a journalist and co-founder of Nawart Press, a platform of free-lance journalists. In 2017, she won the Media Migration Award for her project “Strange Fish”. In 2016/2017, she co-wrote and co-directed “Far Right: a new frightening normal”, a documentary on the rise of the extreme right in Europe, broadcast by Al Jazeera. In 2016, she was nominated for the Doc/IT Women Award at the Venice Festival for “A Kurdish Women’s Dream”. In 2015, Rai Storia broadcast the itinerant project “Railway Diaries: A Woman’s World”, a long reportage on the Silk Road giving women the chance to speak, exceptional protagonists of their time. In 2014, she won the Morrione Ilaria Alpi Award with her first documentary “A Submerged Story”, an investigation into the traffic of archaeological objects in post-revolutionary Égypt.