I can hardly begin to describe to you what I saw as our boat approached the source of that terrible noise. I hardly want to. You won't understand because you weren't there. You can't understand. You see, I thought I'd heard seagulls screeching. Seagulls fighting over a lucky catch. Birds. Just birds.
The Optician of Lampedusa lives a quiet life with his wife on a remote Mediterranean island. He has seen the headlines about shipwrecked migrants, noticed the reception centre, even crossed paths with the occasional lost soul. Yet it is only when, one sunny October morning, a relaxing boat trip with friends unexpectedly turns into a heartbreaking rescue mission, that he truly comes face to face with the human tragedy unfolding on his doorstep - and on all of our doorsteps.