Io Capitano Film Review By Michelle Beesley

March 25, 2024

It’s not hard to see why the film, Io Capitano (Me Captain) has been nominated for a slew of international films awards including best international film at the Golden Globes and Oscars. It’s a brilliant quest movie filmed as a joint co- production between Italy, Belgium and France. The idea came from director, Matteo Garrone (Gomorrah), and was inspired by actual stories of migrants travelling the African route to Europe. It’s a cinematically beautiful coming-of -age story set in Senegal, Niger, the Sahara Desert, Libya and across the sea to Sicily, Italy.

The Story

We first meet the friends, Seydou and Moussa, as teenagers growing up in Dakar, Senegal. The boys dream of heading to Europe to become musicians and are working in secret to save up some money. Despite the efforts of the elders around them trying to dissuade them they are determined to set off on their adventure. But their journey is not as easy as they had imagined, and they are quickly confronted with horror: unscrupulous police and officials, the obstacles of the Sahara Desert, the horrors of detention centres in Libya and all the perils of the Open Sea.

The Actors

This movie is a film of friendship and hope, and we never lose sight of the enduring friendship between our two main characters. Seydou Sare is magnificent as Seydou. His is a captivating performance. He plays the role with empathy, hope and kindness and he has rightly been nominated as a best international actor for his role. Moustapha Fall as his best friend Moussa is the perfect foil as the overconfident friend and ally in this modern-day odyssey.


I found this film both cinematically beautiful and enlightening. Filmed in Senegal, Morocco and Italy it captured the landscapes and light beautifully and provided us with a snapshot of life that many of us will not be familiar with. There are confronting scenes and at times you will feel so much empathy and despair. All of these emotions are captured in the boy’s faces.

Ultimately though this film is filled with friendship, leadership and most of all…hope. This drama confronts the viewer with the choices people will make in their quest for a better life and the difficulties that many people are faced with when they search for
freedom. It’s a modern masterpiece and an adventure story that needed to be told and should be seen by many.

If you are looking for a film that is touching and powerful and that shares our universal truths in a unique way, then Io Capitano may just be the film you are looking for.

Io Capitano will be in Australian cinemas March 28.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.