One of the most critically lauded nonfiction filmmakers to emerge in the last 30 years, Gianfranco Rosi has completed a total of five documentary features since his 1993 debut. The aspects of Rosi’s work that make it remarkable—the way he coaxes subjects typically wary of outsiders into revealing themselves, his capacity to look past the obvious in search of the essential—are things that take some time. Where many documentaries satisfy themselves with showing people, Rosi’s make the extra effort to see them. The difference, in these four films, speaks for itself.
Inspired by the horrors of the European immigration crisis, Rosi’s Golden Bear-winning impressionistic documentary follows a 12-year-old boy living on Lampedusa.
The first nonfiction film to win the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion, Sacro GRA is a city symphony of the Roman outer suburbs.
Rosi’s second feature respectfully observes the outcasts and drop-outs living hardscrabble lives in California’s desolate desert flatlands.