Io Capitano Movie Review

Io Capitano translates to “Me Captain,” and as you watch this young 16-year-old boy turn into a man in a short period of time, you’ll find the title fitting.


Seydou (Seydou Sarr) and his cousin Moussa (Moustapha Fall) live in Senegal and want to move to Europe to become stars on the stage. They write and sing songs believing that someday soon, white people will be asking them for their autographs. Some of these songs are played at certain moments and I believe that could be possible if you want to know the truth. There’s no doubt these boys have talent but need to master their technique. Not only that, but they have many obstacles to hurdle. Simply leaving their world behind and becoming a star in another isn’t as easy as they believe.


Moussa is the instigator, whereas Seydou is the level-headed individual who, especially after speaking to his mother about his plans, thinks they should abandon the idea and stay home. His family needs a man in the house. He should be with them, as is the responsibility since his father passed away. “Stay and breathe the same air” with them, as his mother put it. She tells him that he’s too young to understand that life on the other side of the fence may seem reasonable, but tales of people making it to the other side are just that, tales. The cold, hard reality of it is that most who try to make it to Europe are either dead in the sand or dead at sea. Others also try to dissuade them, but Moussa believes they can help their family more once they become famous. It’s suggested that if they want to die, then they should go.

They soon find themselves at a witch doctor’s house to ask for advice. The prophet tells them that they should seek their ancestor’s advice. To ask permission. Once they do this, the holy man tells them they can leave, which they waste no time doing. Seydou is such a sweet young man. His sister sees him packing, and he cuddles her until she falls asleep, then slips away to find a new life. As they expected, their trip is filled with people who want money. They arranged for it by having plenty of money available. However, they’re young and naïve and quickly taken advantage of.


A wolf is waiting for them around every corner… and do they come! They spend days roughly bouncing in the back of a truck for their destination. Some can’t take the pressure and fall off, completely left behind. The boys hang on, afraid for their life. And this is only the beginning of the journey. There are many moments when their life will come into question. Walking through the desert is worse. They have a guide, but the sun is torture. Seydou is kind and wants to help people in need, but he also must think of himself and his cousin. This trek is not for the weak; being helpful will kill you.


Scam after scam, the realization that they won’t make it through this gets more apparent. Not long after some harrowing scenes that have you peeking through your fingers to watch, Seydou, our main protagonist, is in Libya, waiting to see if he’ll be able to make it because he’s so intelligent and loving. If I say more, I’ll do you a disservice. This is a remarkable film you have to see and experience along with these boys. It was shot expertly by the director of photography Paulo Carnera, I have no doubt you will. You must watch this, one of the best foreign film I’ve seen in quite some time and the acting by Seydou Sarr is phenomenal.

Io Capitano


Original title: Io capitano
Original Language: Wolof

Director: Matteo Garrone
Writers: Matteo Garrone, Massimo Gaudioso, Massimo Ceccherini, Andrea Tagliaferri
Starring: Seydou Sarr, Moustapha Fall

Runtime: 2h 2m
Genre: Drama

Producers: Paolo Del Brocco, Matteo Garrone
Production Co: Archimede, RAI Cinema, Pathé Films, Tarantula

Distributor: Cohen Media Group


Rating contributor: ShariK.Green tmc
I'm the Sr. Film Writer and Community Manager for I write, direct and produce short films with my production company, Good Stew Productions. Though it's difficult to answer this question when asked, I'd say my favorite movie is “The Big Chill.” I enjoy photography, poetry, and hiking and I adore animals, especially elephants. I live in Arizona and feel it's an outstanding and inspirational place to live.

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