Summer brings with it sun and fun to Malta, but just beyond our shores, a different reality regularly unfurls. A powerful documentary called Fishers Of Men shows the trials and tribulations of the people who attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea in search of a better life, and the Malta-based NGO which makes sure they do safely, MOAS.
In the last five years, over one million people have embarked on the perilous journey. Tens of thousands have died. As a result of this, MOAS ended up encountering a great deal of heartbreaking stories. Fishers Of Men was filmed across several years, and features anything from gut-wrenching footage of rescue missions, to heart-lifting snaps of humanity, and interviews with some of the volunteers who help make the NGO as effective as it is. “MOAS is not a ferry boat. MOAS saves lives,” said a Maltese volunteer towards the beginning of the documentary.
The film follows MOAS founders Chris and Regina Catrambone from the very beginning of their journey, and provides a very raw and unfiltered of what their maritime search an rescue operations truly look like. It does not come with a disclaimer at the very beginning advising viewer discretion due to shocking and disturbing images for nothing; this is as close as you can get to being there yourself, and the reality is a very harsh one.
The first day of summer also coincides with Refugee Week, a period which seeks to not only celebrate the contribution of refugees who have finally managed to start a new life from themselves and their family somewhere else, but also to promote the understanding of why people seek sanctuary in the first place. And no other country is perhaps more perfectly poised during this time to lead by example than an island in the middle of the Mediterranean.
MOAS kicked off Refugee Week in Malta with a free screening of Fishers Of Men at the Valletta Film Festival on the 19th of June. More information on the documentary can be found on the film’s official website.
In the meantime, any donations you wish to make towards MOAS’ cause can be done here. More than 33,000 men, women and children in distress have been rescued as sea by MOAS, but they’re not stopping any time soon.
Photo by Jason Pohl (The Coloradoan)
Featured Photo by Chris McGrath (Getty Images)