A Hijacking - the best movie I've seen this year


Well at least he has good trigger discipline.

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Where is it available?

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Released in NY and LA in late June. Other dates: http://www.magpictures.com/dates.aspx?id=e0b17d74-6d43-44f7-8c91-802ed0d7e7a4. Rotten Tomatoes says on DVD in late October.

The Hollywood blockbuster is actually just around the corner:

Captain Phillips (2013)

Tom Hanks stars and Paul Greengrass (Bourne Ultimatum) directs. This one’s based on a real incident from 2009.

Does it go into why the Somalis took up piracy? Or are they just generic goons?


Sovereignty and environmental protection

The former UN envoy for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, has stated that “because there is no (effective) government, there is … much irregular fishing from European and Asian countries,”[119] and that the UN has what he described as “reliable information” that European and Asian companies are dumping toxic and nuclear waste off the Somali coastline.[120] However, he stresses that “no government has endorsed this act, and that private companies and individuals acting alone are responsible.”[120] In addition, Ould-Abdallah told the press that he approached several international NGOs, such as Global Witness, to trace the illicit fishing and waste-dumping. He added that he believes the toxic waste dumping is “a disaster off the Somali coast, a disaster (for) the Somali environment, the Somali population”, and that what he terms “this illegal fishing, illegal dumping of waste” helps fuel the civil war in Somalia since the illegal foreign fishermen pay off corrupt local officials or warlords for protection or to secure counterfeit licenses.[119] Ould-Abdallah noted that piracy will not prevent waste dumping:

I am convinced there is dumping of solid waste, chemicals and probably nuclear (waste).... There is no government (control) and there are few people with high moral ground[...] The intentions of these pirates are not concerned with protecting their environment. What is ultimately needed is a functioning, effective government that will get its act together and take control of its affairs.
—Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy for Somalia[120]

Somali pirates which captured MV Faina, a Ukrainian ship carrying tanks and military hardware, accused European firms of dumping toxic waste off the Somali coast and declared that the $8m ransom for the return of the ship will go towards cleaning up the waste. The ransom demand is a means of “reacting to the toxic waste that has been continually dumped on the shores of our country for nearly 20 years”, Januna Ali Jama, a spokesman for the pirates said. “The Somali coastline has been destroyed, and we believe this money is nothing compared to the devastation that we have seen on the seas.”[120]

These issues have generally not been reported in international media when reporting on piracy.[121][122] According to Muammar al-Gaddafi, “It is a response to greedy Western nations, who invade and exploit Somalia’s water resources illegally. It is not a piracy, it is self defence.”[123]

Pirate leader Sugule Ali said their motive was “to stop illegal fishing and dumping in our waters … We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits. We consider sea bandits [to be] those who illegally fish and dump in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas.” Also, the independent Somali news-site WardherNews found that 70 percent “strongly supported the piracy as a form of national defence of the country’s territorial waters”.[124]


Mark, you’re an American who has never lived through anything like the events in this movie. I trust your judgment that the movie is immersive, convincing, gripping, suspenseful, “rings true”, and is well worth watching. But what’s your evidence that the script is at all “realistic”, or that the script resembles in any way any of the real Somali pirate hijackings that have happened? You may well have read reviews of the movie by former hostages who have attested to this. But if so, you should say so, and if not, you should explain whether you have a basis for this “realistic” word you keep using, or just got suckered in by Hollywood creating a fake, unrealistic, imaginary world very convincingly, which is after all the whole point of Hollywood.

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For what it’s worth, if you like the actors, several of them are drawn from the excellent TV series Borgen, which now has three seasons out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borgen_(TV_series)

Connecting the perceived realism of this movie to what Hollywood does is silly, because the movie wasn’t made by Hollywood.

[shrug] OK, I should have said “the global film industry” instead of the metonym of “Hollywood”. Same point, though-- convincing illusion is their business, and this is a thriller and not a documentary, so what if anything does the script have to do with what happened in any actual hijackings, and what’s the evidence for that?

It feels real because they used actual people & locations involved in the real incident, check these quotes from the LA Times
The scenes shot in Copenhagen take place in the offices of the shipping company Clipper Group; one of their security specialists who has been involved in resolving real-life hijackings plays a negotiator. The ship used in the film, the MV Rozen, was itself hijacked in 2007.

To build the tension for the scenes in the Clipper Group offices, Lindholm would leave his actors in their small situation room without any idea when the phone would ring to begin the scene, sometimes letting them wait for hours. Likewise, while filming on the Rozen he would sometimes lock Asbaek and other cast members in a small cabin for hours on end, even releasing a jar of flies into the room.


Thank you for the intelligent reply. Kudos on the evidence!

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The movie was made before the actual incident ended.

The two real people got home this year 2013.


I’d like to see a movie from the perspective of Somalis.

Sorry, the film industry has decreed that henceforth all movies with pirate protagonists must star Johnny Depp—and his “Native American” makeup from The Lone Ranger was bad enough.

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