A ten-year-old boy leaves Italian Calabria behind to follow his father to a distant and cold Belgium in search of a better life. Marina tells the amazing story of a little boy, against the background of the Italian migration to Belgium in the 50s.
Italy, 1948. Ten-year-old Rocco is growing up in a gorgeous but poor mountain hamlet in Calabria, until one day his father Salvatore decides to seek a better future for his family. He then leaves for the promised land, Belgium, where he strives to earn a lot of money in a short amount of time by working in coal mines, before returning to his home country. But very soon he sends for his family and they all move to Waterschei. Rocco becomes a migrant overnight, with all the consequences this entails. The greyish mining landscapes of Limburg, icy winters, racism, and a foreign language and culture all put a damper on the little boy's happiness. Rocco wants to be like other children, become someone and have a purpose in life. Against his father's wish and better judgement he seeks an escape through music and love. Rocco follows his heart and passion to fulfil his dream.
The story is based on the childhood memories of the Italian-Belgian singer, Rocco Granata.
Movie Summary: The true story of Rocco Granata, an Italian coal miner's son who followed his passion for music against his father's wishes and social barriers.
Movie Plot: Salvatore Granata is a rather poor man who lives with his wife, son and daughter in Calabria in Italy. One day Salvatore decides to move to Belgium to work in the coal mine of Waterschei as a "gastarbeider," an immigrant worker. His family will stay in Italy as Salvatore will only be in Belgium for three years. He hopes to earn much money in a rather small time frame so he can buy a forge for his son Rocco who is now still a 9 year old boy. After a year, Salvatore decides his family should be with him, so they also move to Belgium. They soon discover the life of a "gastarbeider" is difficult: they have to live in some kind of barracks, they are neglected by the Belgian people and they do not earn much. They are astonished when they hear Salvatore signed a contract of five years and children of "gastarbeiders" ought to work in the mines as soon they leave high school. Rocco meets Helena, the daughter of the local grocer. However, the man is a racist and forbids his daughter to play with Italian boys.
- Runtime: 118 min
- Genre: Biography, Drama, Music
- Director: Stijn Coninx
- Writer: Stijn Coninx, Rik D'Hiet
- Actors: Luigi Lo Cascio, Donatella Finocchiaro, Matteo Simoni, Evelien Bosmans
- Language: Flemish, Italian, French, Dutch
- Country: Belgium, Italy
- Awards: 9 wins & 4 nominations
- Release Date: 2013
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