Ellis holds up a mirror to the current migrant crisis.
Recently screened at contemporary classical pianist Frahm’s marathon at London’s Barbican, the film stars De Niro as a migrant wandering through the hallways of the New York immigration gateway Ellis Island’s abandoned hospital complex.
De Niro’s narration – which reflects the current refugee crisis – is reproduced on the album’s second half, written by Frahm on his harmonium in the wake of a terror warning in Brussels. “I felt rather depressed that day, thinking that the Europe I knew was already gone,” he said of the writing process.
“Robert says it all in 17 minutes. We are not facing a refugee crisis. We are facing a crisis because we do not embrace, we do not sympathise and we cannot give up fear. Art can encourage so I hope this project will help fight the fear in all of us.”
Ellis is released through Erased Tapes on CD, vinyl and digital format on July 8. Proceeds go to the Sea Watch initiative, a non-profit charity dedicated to the protection and rescue of civilian refugees.
Watch the Ellis trailer below.