Online catalogue / Joerg Burger :

Un solo colore
Un solo colore
AT / 2016
80 min.

"I seek refuge in the Lord of the dawn," read the words written in Arabic on a ship obliquely docked in a harbor at the opening of Un solo colore. What does ´refuge´ mean: bare rescue from persecution and drowning in the Mediterranean Sea? Does it mean proper accommodations, registration and assessment of requests for asylum? Giusi and Rosario have set up a "Place of Arrival" in the Calabrian hinterlands that goes beyond the obligatory minimum. Instead of living in a centralized camp, 76 asylum seekers are currently being accommodated in several apartments standing empty in the village of Camini. Rather than pass their time in waiting, recently arrived refugees can work within the local framework of the fallow agricultural industry.

Joerg Burger investigates this mesh of humanitarian assistance and local revival with curiosity and unsentimental respect for all those involved. He finds traces of migratory continuity in the hauntingly silent streets and dilapidated housing facades of Camini: During the post-war period, business fled from the poor south of Italy to Turin, Germany, Argentina. Older residents still remember symptoms that accompanied emigrants back then, such as depression and stomach ulcers. Similar ailments suffered by the new guests are later discussed by one of the project coordinators during a conversation about enrollment.

However most importantly, Un solo colore uses the excellent example of Camini to generate pertinent questions regarding Europe´s refugee admissions policy that go beyond the necessities of sheer survival. In addition to the couple heading the project, it is above all several asylum seekers who have their say – not as grateful children but rather as subjects who, despite their explicit appreciation, would prefer to be elsewhere tomorrow, beyond the high stone walls of the village. Is there a form of work, any kind of work, sufficient to a dignified life? Can the Camini model and that of other Calabrian villages be applied to less structurally weak regions? And how much structural paternalism remains embedded in the egalitarian administration of this project?

Burger shifts between interview situations and observational sequences that not only avoid commentary but also do without subtitles: Shots of friendly cohabitation and collaboration retain the opaque density of the everyday rather than being reduced to an abstract idyll. The images are soberly framed, often seen in long shot overviews that simultaneously indicate the necessarily narrow limits of this individual project.
(Joachim Schätz)
Translation: Eve Heller

The tiny municipality of Camini lies 15 kilometres from the Ionic Sea. At first glance, Camini is indistinguishable from the many other villages forgotten by time in the southern Italian province of Reggio di Calabria. But Camini stands out from the rest of the country, the rest of the continent. As the European Union looks on and discusses a humane way to accommodate people forced into migration, in Camini, hosting migrants is seen as an opportunity. (Joerg Burger)

A film by:
- Joerg Burger

- Documentary

original language:
- italian

Available Prints:
- DCP 2K

price: 300,00 EUR


rental conditions

more on Austrian Independent Film & Video Database:
- Credits
- Festival placements
- Texte und Bilder
- Biographie: Joerg Burger