Milo Rau’s new film is a powerful portrayal of the struggle that refugees face for a better life. The acclaimed theatre director has taken on the task of raising awareness about the exploitation of refugees and his approach is unconventional yet effective. The film recasts the Passion of Christ, putting refugees in the roles of Jesus and his Apostles. As they move through the streets of Matera, one of Europe’s Capitals of Culture, they reenact key moments of this biblical story, while highlighting the harsh realities of life as a migrant in Italy.
Anthony Nwachukwu, one of the Apostles in Rau’s film, represents the thousands of refugees who work as seasonal laborers on farms in southern Italy, sacrificing their dignity for very little pay. Few are brave enough to fight back against the farmers and wholesalers exploiting them; after all, migrants have no lobby in Italy. Through the lens of this film, Rau encourages viewers to rethink their own perceptions of refugees and their plight. The documentary offers a disturbing yet inspiring look at the challenges that migrants face in their quest for a better life.