Captain Philips - Sympathy for the Pirate

Captain Philips - Sympathy for the Pirate

Captain Phillips could easily have been a simplistic action/rescue thriller or a maudlin made-for-TV potboiler, but instead it's a powerful film even as it tries to strip the mythmaking out of a very human event that became a larger-than-life media moment.

Read Full Article

Sounds like a very interesting movie, Bob. I'll try to see it when I get the chance.

Not my cup of tea (Of the three, I only saw Green Zone and was thoroughly disappointed), but it would be nice to see this grab a few actor awards.

MovieBob:
On April 12th, in an atypically public (for this sort of scenario) display of U.S. military power, a team of Navy SEALs rescued Phillips after taking out the remaining pirates with precision snipers.

Funnily enough, when I first heard this, I immediately thought of a similar event that was one of the first major foreign policy acts of the recently independent United States. One of the earliest missions of that beautiful ship still anchored in your hometown's harbour, Bob.

I've been hearing a lot of good things about this film. Thanks for the recommendation, Bob!

Not normally my kind of movie, but I dunno, might have to look it up sometime just to check out this Abdi fellow. For some reason I often find Hanks' counterparts more interesting to watch than he is himself; maybe he's got a knack for bringing out good interplay in people. Maybe it's just me. *shrug*

Off topic: Am I a bad person for getting distracted by the errors in this one? "Emphasize" for "empathize" in particular just kinda made my brain stall for a minute.

Shjade:
Off topic: Am I a bad person for getting distracted by the errors in this one? "Emphasize" for "empathize" in particular just kinda made my brain stall for a minute.

Nope i was gonna say something similar myself.

I'm kind of a spelling Nazi though.

The Gentleman:
Not my cup of tea (Of the three, I only saw Green Zone and was thoroughly disappointed), but it would be nice to see this grab a few actor awards.

Green Zone is universally regarded as misstep for all those involved. It's not the film to judge by really.

Darth Sea Bass:

Shjade:
Off topic: Am I a bad person for getting distracted by the errors in this one? "Emphasize" for "empathize" in particular just kinda made my brain stall for a minute.

Nope i was gonna say something similar myself.

I'm kind of a spelling Nazi though.

Thirded. Stuck out like a boil on a bald man's brow.

I'm planning to see this movie more-so now. Initially my interest was sparked after watching The Project, a documentary about the Somali pirates. Which I saw at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Shjade:
Not normally my kind of movie, but I dunno, might have to look it up sometime just to check out this Abdi fellow. For some reason I often find Hanks' counterparts more interesting to watch than he is himself; maybe he's got a knack for bringing out good interplay in people. Maybe it's just me. *shrug*

The first time Abdi and Hanks met was when they were shooting the takeover in the bridge. He actually managed to frighten Tom because he looked so gaunt and he ad-libbed their English conversation: "Look at me, look at me... I'm de captain."

It's funny considering that later on in a scene at the end of the movie after Phelps is rescued, the real life medical officer couldn't even speak the first time because she couldn't believe she was talking to Tom Hanks.

Falseprophet:

MovieBob:
On April 12th, in an atypically public (for this sort of scenario) display of U.S. military power, a team of Navy SEALs rescued Phillips after taking out the remaining pirates with precision snipers.

Funnily enough, when I first heard this, I immediately thought of a similar event that was one of the first major foreign policy acts of the recently independent United States. One of the earliest missions of that beautiful ship still anchored in your hometown's harbour, Bob.

Thankfully we didn't have to burn the Maersk after it was captured.

This sounds great, if only for the fact that it's resistant to politics. There can never be enough movies based on true events like that.

This is just my own hangup about the whole thing but is there any mention about how these pirates are all former fishermen and commercial fishing fleets decimated their fishing grounds and destroyed their livelihoods?

SecondPrize:
This is just my own hangup about the whole thing but is there any mention about how these pirates are all former fishermen and commercial fishing fleets decimated their fishing grounds and destroyed their livelihoods?

Within the movie yes actually the captain of the pirates briefly mentions the matter in one of the many tense scenes when they're in the lifeboat with Phillips.

SecondPrize:
This is just my own hangup about the whole thing but is there any mention about how these pirates are all former fishermen and commercial fishing fleets decimated their fishing grounds and destroyed their livelihoods?

Source? Last I checked Somalia was generally poverty stricken and held by several warlords. Not to mention the fact that groups, like Al Qaeda, often pay these warlords to attack shipping lines and there are even dedicated pirate training camps. That is the problem I have with films like this. I am shown a man in poverty and am supposed to understand why he resorts to violence and show sympathy. The problem is, I don't care. They made the choice to attack unarmed merchants, fuck em.

Source- Just google, "al qaeda pays somali pirates"

This is good?

Well, I've been watching a lot of more arthouse stuff lately, like Elysium and The Great Gatsby, so I might go see this. I mean, I saw Drive on your recommendation and that seems to have sparked a trend of sorts.

Darth Sea Bass:

Shjade:
Off topic: Am I a bad person for getting distracted by the errors in this one? "Emphasize" for "empathize" in particular just kinda made my brain stall for a minute.

Nope i was gonna say something similar myself.

I'm kind of a spelling Nazi though.

Well, I'm kind of a grammar Nazi, and as a spelling Nazi, you should know that both of those words were spelled correctly. They were not, however, used correctly. YOU'RE STEALING MY BUSINESS! :(

On topic: I'll have to check it out. I'm WAAAAAAAAAAAY behind on my movies, though; I still have to watch shit like Elysium and... I don't know, The Avengers, I guess.

Sarge034:

SecondPrize:
This is just my own hangup about the whole thing but is there any mention about how these pirates are all former fishermen and commercial fishing fleets decimated their fishing grounds and destroyed their livelihoods?

Source? Last I checked Somalia was generally poverty stricken and held by several warlords. Not to mention the fact that groups, like Al Qaeda, often pay these warlords to attack shipping lines and there are even dedicated pirate training camps. That is the problem I have with films like this. I am shown a man in poverty and am supposed to understand why he resorts to violence and show sympathy. The problem is, I don't care. They made the choice to attack unarmed merchants, fuck em.

Source- Just google, "al qaeda pays somali pirates"

According to Wikipedia its seems that the first Somalian pirates were fisherman. After the fall of Somalia's last dictator, the Somalian navy disbanded and foreign fishing companies began fishing in Somalian territory. There are also claims that corporations seized this opportunity to use the Somalian shoreline as a dumping ground. So with most of the fish either being snatched up by illegal foreign competition or killed off by pollution it seems logical that some fisherman would resort to piracy.

That being said I doubt all or even the vast majority of pirate nowadays are poor fisherman with nowhere else to turn. Given how profitable piracy has become it's only logical that it would attract people outside Somalia's fishing community. A lot of the pirates, specifically the ones doing the boarding, are most likely ex-militia. Given the rise of radical Islam in the region over the past few years, it doesn't surprise me that Al Qaeda may be paying some of the pirates to raid ships.

Given how poverty stricken Somalia is the rise of piracy would have happened without or without the fisherman getting screwed over (though granted it certainly didn't help).

As for sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piracy_in_Somalia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioactive_waste_dumping_by_the_%27Ndrangheta

Zetatrain:
According to Wikipedia its seems that the first Somalian pirates were fisherman. After the fall of Somalia's last dictator, the Somalian navy disbanded and foreign fishing companies began fishing in Somalian territory. There are also claims that corporations seized this opportunity to use the Somalian shoreline as a dumping ground. So with most of the fish either being snatched up by illegal foreign competition or killed off by pollution it seems logical that some fisherman would resort to piracy.

That being said I doubt all or even the vast majority of pirate nowadays are poor fisherman with nowhere else to turn. Given how profitable piracy has become it's only logical that it would attract people outside Somalia's fishing community. A lot of the pirates, specifically the ones doing the boarding, are most likely ex-militia. Given the rise of radical Islam in the region over the past few years, it doesn't surprise me that Al Qaeda may be paying some of the pirates to raid ships.

Given how poverty stricken Somalia is the rise of piracy would have happened without or without the fisherman getting screwed over (though granted it certainly didn't help).

As for sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piracy_in_Somalia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioactive_waste_dumping_by_the_%27Ndrangheta

That is all good and well that the first Somali pirates were fishermen who got screwed over, it is also inconsequential as these are not the first Somali pirates. The part I took issue with was the other poster trying to make all these people to be the poor wronged downtrodden masses. A few do it to survive I'm sure, but most do it to get rich quick now. They have terrorist backing, work for murderous warlords, assault and kill civilian non-combatants, and I'm supposed to feel anything other than joy when they get what's coming to them, all 180 grains of it? (That's a bullet joke for whoever didn't know.)

Also, I appreciate the sources but I would caution you from using the wiki. Most of the time it is spot on, but other times it can be incomplete, misleading, or simply wrong. Just a friendly tip.

Sarge034:

That is all good and well that the first Somali pirates were fishermen who got screwed over, it is also inconsequential as these are not the first Somali pirates.

Who can say for sure? They may not be the first, but they could very well be fisherman that are still getting screwed over by the effects of illegal fishing and dumping that were previously mentioned. The less opportunities there are to make an honest living the more likely one will resort to unsavory means of making ends meet.

Sarge034:

The part I took issue with was the other poster trying to make all these people to be the poor wronged downtrodden masses. A few do it to survive I'm sure, but most do it to get rich quick now. They have terrorist backing, work for murderous warlords

Again just speculation on my part, but since some are being back by terrorists and warlords it possible that the pirates get a rather small part of the ransom and the majority goes to his backer. Not saying this is the case for all of them as I do believe a good number of them do it for the get rich quick part of the job, but it's something I thought I'd point out.

Sarge034:
assault and kill civilian non-combatants, and I'm supposed to feel anything other than joy when they get what's coming to them, all 180 grains of it? (That's a bullet joke for whoever didn't know.)

I guess it all depends on what you think are the most likely reasons and/or circumstances these men went into piracy for.
EDIT: I don't condone these actions but the whole Somalian piracy issue is not so black and white.

Sarge034:

SecondPrize:
This is just my own hangup about the whole thing but is there any mention about how these pirates are all former fishermen and commercial fishing fleets decimated their fishing grounds and destroyed their livelihoods?

Source? Last I checked Somalia was generally poverty stricken and held by several warlords. Not to mention the fact that groups, like Al Qaeda, often pay these warlords to attack shipping lines and there are even dedicated pirate training camps. That is the problem I have with films like this. I am shown a man in poverty and am supposed to understand why he resorts to violence and show sympathy. The problem is, I don't care. They made the choice to attack unarmed merchants, fuck em.

Source- Just google, "al qaeda pays somali pirates"

The source is a great many news stories when this was a big thing. If you'd rather see someone watch their family starve, I dunno, that's pretty odd. Google is never a source.

BarbaricGoose:

Darth Sea Bass:

Shjade:
Off topic: Am I a bad person for getting distracted by the errors in this one? "Emphasize" for "empathize" in particular just kinda made my brain stall for a minute.

Nope i was gonna say something similar myself.

I'm kind of a spelling Nazi though.

Well, I'm kind of a grammar Nazi, and as a spelling Nazi, you should know that both of those words were spelled correctly. They were not, however, used correctly. YOU'RE STEALING MY BUSINESS! :(

On topic: I'll have to check it out. I'm WAAAAAAAAAAAY behind on my movies, though; I still have to watch shit like Elysium and... I don't know, The Avengers, I guess.

We should team up and fight crime! :P

Looks like an interesting film, will check it out. Shame they didn't want to get political on the commentary cause that would have made it better.

The dire situation that Somalia is in partly a western made problem. Corporations doing business have partly put in on that path, Marxism and dictatorship and the fall out from both did the rest, that poor fishermen have no choice but to attempt dangerous stuff like piracy, when they can't FISH. Not being able to eat or pay bills will lead people down dark paths. If you think this is bull its not. Lots of companies want their slice of Africa's resources.

Feels like another attempt to keep people stupid of the facts, so long as no americans are hurt or killed, they don't care really. When it gets on the USTV News though, then they start care. That kind of terrible 'fuck the world' attitude is exactly why the US shouldn't be world police, as they seem to mess up more than they solve issues.

The presence of Muslim extremists entering the picture is obviously not helping things. No solution to them but to fight them as they are almost beyond reason.

Sarge034:

SecondPrize:
This is just my own hangup about the whole thing but is there any mention about how these pirates are all former fishermen and commercial fishing fleets decimated their fishing grounds and destroyed their livelihoods?

Source? Last I checked Somalia was generally poverty stricken and held by several warlords. Not to mention the fact that groups, like Al Qaeda, often pay these warlords to attack shipping lines and there are even dedicated pirate training camps. That is the problem I have with films like this. I am shown a man in poverty and am supposed to understand why he resorts to violence and show sympathy. The problem is, I don't care. They made the choice to attack unarmed merchants, fuck em.

Source- Just google, "al qaeda pays somali pirates"

I don't like this kind of attitude some people have. You can understand something without condoning it. Somalia has not been a great place to live the last few decades. The country has been rife with civil war, and most people live nomadic lives raising goats and cattle to survive. With no functional government illegal fishing off the coast of Somalia became common and the Somalis acted to protect their waters.
Now Somalia is starting to recover and other factors have led to a reduction in the piracy problem. If you don't take the time to understand why something is happening you can never fix it. Acknowledging the reasons for piracy does not mean you condone the piracy. I don't feel the movie condoned the piracy either. It simply let us see what drives it.

Am I the only one who is insanely excited to see a movie about Mary Poppins? Because I am seriously excited.

Good to see Tom Hank continue to make good films, he's come along way since "The Man With One Red Shoe"
(an unappreciated classic in my book!)

To clear up some confusion, this was my initial gripe. The underlined section is false and the bolded part is why. Everything else I am saying is personal opinions, but this is 100% false. Kids are being recruited off the streets, sent to pirate training camps, and attack merchants for their bosses and their bosses' financial backers. If they were all fishermen they wouldn't need khot (cot) to ward off sea sickness, just sayin.

"SecondPrize:
This is just my own hangup about the whole thing but is there any mention about how these pirates are all former fishermen and commercial fishing fleets decimated their fishing grounds and destroyed their livelihoods?"

Nimcha:
This sounds great, if only for the fact that it's resistant to politics. There can never be enough movies based on true events like that.

Hm, I dunno, the academy's recent taste for movies about historical or quasi-historical events stripped of all the context and elements that actually make said events _important_ kind of strikes me as mostly pointless, sophomoric nihilism.

It bothers me almost as much that this is what constitutes oscar bait as it does that the movie is 100% oscar bait with nothing else in there. What happened to the old academy that actually cared about things un-ironically? The Hollywood that was sometimes _uncomfortably_ political, because it was at one point important for a film to have an actual message? Rendering literally every possible thing into meaningless human-interest character drama is not the direction I want to see the more literate part of the industry go.

I don't get why the more interesting films are relegated to text reviews that clearly need more traffic while boring boilerplate multiplex action movies are given a video review spotlight. This is an excellent review, I'm completely psyched to see another Greengrass movie to the level of United 93's quality. And yet this could easily have been a video review since Bob already reads off a good script for them, but now it's here with only 25 comments and not many people will be bothered to have the movie on their radar other than the film nerds.

I was actually at a church when the news broke about the captain of the Maersk being rescued and the pirates being killed by the Navy SEALs snipers.

The reason I don't say MY church, is because after announcing the captain had been rescued, the Pastor of the church stepped onto the stage (I refuse to call the spot where he committed this desecration an altar.) and cried out that three of the pirates had been killed, and praised God for it. I walked out of that church, and have never set foot in it since.

Moeez:
I don't get why the more interesting films are relegated to text reviews that clearly need more traffic while boring boilerplate multiplex action movies are given a video review spotlight. This is an excellent review, I'm completely psyched to see another Greengrass movie to the level of United 93's quality. And yet this could easily have been a video review since Bob already reads off a good script for them, but now it's here with only 25 comments and not many people will be bothered to have the movie on their radar other than the film nerds.

For the same reason that the big AAA movies get million dollar trailers. Ratings and ticket sales numbers.

Bob has lamented over and over about how most movies coming out this time of year are just naked cash and/or Oscar grabs. The Weinstein Company makes pretentious, artsy crap SOLELY for the purpose of winning Oscars.

I wasn't planning to see it before since i didn't find the previews that interesting. While i vague remember the event, considering my geographic location, it wasn't that big and news worthy down here. However i think i might after reading bob's review.

If it's as good as the text suggests, why not do an Escape to the Movies about it, instead of Machete Kills? We all knew what Machete Kills was before watching any video review of it. Hell, we knew what it was as soon as the first one was announced and we saw the first trailer.

Darth Sea Bass:

Shjade:
Off topic: Am I a bad person for getting distracted by the errors in this one? "Emphasize" for "empathize" in particular just kinda made my brain stall for a minute.

Nope i was gonna say something similar myself.

I'm kind of a spelling Nazi though.

somewhere toward the end he also says "of" instead of "off". It's like getting stung by a grammar bee.

On the topic of how sympathetic the pirates are:

The way Abdi (Muse) says his line about how they are fisherman sort of led me to believe that he was just making a blatant lie. In fact, I was actually kind of confused when Tom Hanks (Phillips) held onto that concept and told the pirate that he was "more than just a fisherman". Then again, I was also confused about what exactly Muse would have heard in that statement that calmed him down, but perhaps he just interpreted it as "You're a captain, and you are responsible for the lives of your crew"

But even if it is doubtful that these men have been anything except for pirates, that "Maybe in America" line still hits hard. Armed militias show up at these guys' village every week demanding that they bring them millions of dollars. They know that they can't stand up to their bosses, and nobody is coming to help. If they fail, the best case scenario is that they never see another bullet, another ounce of food, or anything that they need to survive. More likely, people they know are going to die if they don't rob ships.

At least, that's how it's presented in the movie. I couldn't really say what the actual situation is in Somaila, but if a warlord has your village on their map and expects a steady stream of income, eventually you run of ethical options.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here