Piracy off the coast of Somalia has been a threat since 2009 when the second phase of the Somali Civil War started.
Since then, it has cost an estimated $6.6 billion to $6.9 billion in Global Trade and has raised concern for many International Organizations. As exciting as it is to have modern day pirates, piracy in the 21st century is very different from the romanticized piracy from the 17th and 18th century. However, the concept of Somali Pirates has still taken Hollywood by storm, with “A Hijacking” in 2012, “Captain Phillips” in 2013, and several more documentaries in the following years.
“Fishing Without Nets”, the Vice produced first feature film by Cutter Hodierne is no different. The 2014 film is based on Hodierne’s short film of the same name that premiered during the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and won the Short Film Special Jury prize. Although this film can not compete with the suspense and thrill of some bigger budget films, it makes up for that in authenticity.
The film focuses on telling the story of Abhi, a Somali fisherman that because of poor fishing conditions, must resort to piracy in order to reunite with his family. Abhi is “blessed with a good heart and blessed with a wife and kids” but ends up on this path that he has little choice but to take. The film’s non-actor actors give the film a documentary feel, and allows for a very believable storyline that is culturally rich. This point of view is rare and gives a candid glimpse at the paranoia, fear and power struggle that drives and shapes the everyday lives of Somali pirates.
Hodierne’s “Fishing without Nets” is a must see for those that appreciate a great stylistic and culturally in-depth film. Furthermore those who are a fan of Vice, will appreciate that the film exhibits some of the style of Vice’s well known documentaries. Although Hollywood tends to put its own spin on what happens, it is interesting to see the same story told from the view of the Somali Pirates. Although this is a problem that still needs to be addressed by International Organizations, it is always important for the general public to understand both sides of the story and to see things from a different perspective, and “Fishing without Nets” does just that.
The film opens in New York on October 3, 2014 and will be available nationwide on VOD October 21, 2014.