Since 2003 Italy and Europe have asked Libya to stop the African migrants. What are the Libyan police really doing? What do thousands of African men and women suffer? And why does everybody pretend they do not know about it.
Giving voice to the Ethiopian refugees living in Rome, the film “Like a man on earth” provides a direct insight into the brutal ways in which Libya, aided also by Italian and European funds, is operating to control the immigration movements of people from Africa. Dag used to study Law in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.
Prompted by the strong political repression he had to face in Ethiopia, he decides to leave the country. In the winter of 2005 he embarks on a tough land journey, crossing the desert between Sudan and Libya.â€¨â€¨On his arrival in Libya, he is soon caught in a web of violence and criminal activities run by the rackets groupcontrolling the routes through the Mediterranean Sea. He then goes from bad to worse, ending up in the hands of the Libyan police, responsible for a series of arrests and mass deportations.
â€¨â€¨Surviving the ordeal he went through in Libya, Dag eventually manages to cross the sea and reaches the Italian coastline. He then arrives in Rome, where he starts attending an informal italian school run by Asinitas Onlus, a first access point for African immigrants coordinated by Marco Carsetti and other volunteers. Here he attends an Italian language course and is given the opportunity to learn basic film-making techniques. This experience inspires him to collect the testimonies of his fellow countrymen who shared the same traumatic experiences, and breaks the silence on the fate awaiting african migrants crossino the country run by Gheddafi.
â€œCome un uomo sulla terraâ€ is a journey of pain and dignity, through which Dagmawi Yimer voices his memories of unthinkable human suffering to denounce what appears to be a tragic political and humanitarian situation . In this respect both Italy and Europe share responsibilities for this situation and should be made accountable for it.
The film is part of a project initiatde by Alessandro Triulzi titled The Archive of Refugeesâ€™ Memories that has been developed from 2006 onword by the Asinitas centre for the education and care of refugees, in collaboration with ZaLab, a collective of film makers specialized in participatory video and social documentaries, and with the help of the audio-visual Foundation AAMOD â€“ Archivio Audioviso del Movimento Operaio e Democratico. The educational activities organised by Asinitas Onlus have been supported by the joint effort of Lettera 27 Foundation and Tavola Valdese. We thank Mauro Morbidelli of Aamod for his personal contribution to the project.