It’s August 2019 and a boat is stranded off the coast of Italy. Its passengers have already been marooned for more than a week; the 121 refugees huddled on the Open Arms, stuck in the Mediterranean Sea, simply have nowhere to go. Then, to general astonishment, Hollywood comes calling, as famed actor Richard Gere steps aboard.
The Spanish rescue ship had set off on its quest on August 2. However, its progress was brought to an abrupt halt when ports in Malta and Italy refused its captain’s requests to dock on their shores. Although 39 of the original 160 passengers had previously been let off in Malta, the remaining 121 travelers were stranded. They had nowhere else to go.