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Sundance 2012 - Watch Trailer For "Fishing Without Nets" (Film About Somali Pirates Told From The Perspective Of The Pirates)

Festivals
by Tambay A. Obenson
December 7, 2011 11:55 AM
10 Comments
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Fishing Without Nets

What happened to all those "Somali pirate" movies that were announced when Somali pirate stories were seemingly all the rage 2 years ago, in what I thought would likely be the beginning of a deluge of pirate movies, all fashioned after the recent stories the media fell in love with, but failed to properly vet.

I expected that, by now, we'd have seen at least 1 of them realized; but, unless I'm just missing something, nada.

Let's see... there was Samuel L Jackson's production company (Uppity Films) securing the life rights of Andrew Mwangura, a negotiator between pirates and the owners of vessels hijacked off the coast of Africa, with Jackson, naturally, set to play the starring role; then there was Columbia Pictures' acquisition of the life story rights of Richard Phillips - the captain of one of the ships captured by Somalis Maersk Alabama) and later rescued by the U.S. Navy - with the aim to develop a feature film based on that story, and Tom Hanks attached to star; and then there was the adaptation of author Elmore Leonard's 44th, titled Djibouti - a fictitious tale centering on the pairing of a young, white female award-winning documentary filmmaker and "a studly 6-foot-6-inch black African leading man who, at 72, has lost none of his appeal to pretty young women," as they set sail into the Indian Ocean to make a movie that presents a sympathetic view of the African pirates operating on the east coast of the continent. Morgan Freeman and Sandra Bullock were reportedly being sought to star.

There were likely others I'm forgetting right now.

Anyway... my main concern with all those Hollywood productions is that their research teams paint for the audience the full picture of the so-called piracy of the Somalis, giving equal weight to all sides of the story, rather than focus on the ostensible heroics of one, while surpressing the harsh, incriminating truths about the other. One of my recommendations was that they start by reading this article by Johann Hari of The Independent in the UK: You Are Being Lied To About Pirates. I'd encourage you all to read it as well, if you haven't already. These dominating narrow portrayals of Africans as either the starving, helpless, hapless victims, or as post-colonial *savages,* have grown trite and tiresome, while failing to delve into the full complexities beneath the 2-dimensional surfaces we are often bombarded with.

So then... this morning, while taking a closer look at yesterday's Sundance 2012 Shorts Program lineup announcement, I found this film that immediately peeked my interest.

Titled Fishing Without Nets, the film's description says that it tells a story of pirates in Somalia, but does what other films on the subject don't seem all that interested in doing, and that is telling the story from the perspective of the pirates themselves.

Directed by 24-year-old LA-based filmmaker Cutter Hodierne, who's past experience, since high school, includes music/concert videos (most recently working with rock group U2), commercials and several shorts.

Fishing Without Nets is not a documentary by the way... it's a narrative short film; and from the looks of the teaser trailer below, he's definitely got my attention. I'd like to see the rest of this, and hopefully will when it makes its debut at Sundance next month.

I'd love to chat with him about how he was able to get this thing made! Nothing about this looks simple nor cheap.

Watch the teaser below:

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10 Comments

  • Arod | December 24, 2012 2:36 AMReply

    You would think that with the millions of dollars these directors spend on these films that they would actually do decent research. The dialog in the beginning and the subtitles don't match each other at ALL. Just like black hawk down looks like we will be seeing west Africans playing Somalis smh

  • toby | February 13, 2012 7:26 AMReply

    is it coming out in the uk

  • DR | January 17, 2012 7:21 PMReply

    The English translation in those subtitles is not at all what is being said in Somali, FYI.

  • alyce | January 16, 2012 12:51 AMReply

    I'm pretty troubled by non-African filmmakers' obsession with piracy in East Africa, and the continual funding thrown at these projects. Though one can see the action/adventure plot as being attractive to narrative and doc audiences alike, this trend does nothing but reinforce stereotypes about Somalia in American and European minds -- and renders a very complex history, people, and culture as nothing more than illiterate, khat-chewing cartoon characters in need of constant monitoring by the West.

    Edward Said covered this decades ago: "What we have is a series of crude, essentialized caricatures of the Islamic world presented in such a way as to make that world vulnerable to military aggression."

  • Africasacountry | December 17, 2011 10:57 PMReply

    This looks like it was shot somewhere in Zanzibar or Kenya.

  • BUSTY | December 12, 2011 2:41 AMReply

    Cutter is a beast!

  • JK | December 10, 2011 6:44 PMReply

    congrats cutter. really glad to see this get selected.

  • Neville Waters | December 8, 2011 12:48 PMReply

    Thanks! Film should be considered "can't-miss" at the festival :-)

  • anonymous guy | December 8, 2011 12:26 AMReply

    those guns were definitely real.

  • vc | December 7, 2011 1:01 PMReply

    whoa, this looks hot

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