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Preview – ‘Stolen Seas’ (On How Victims Become Villains & Other Untold Stories Of Somali Piracy)

Preview - 'Stolen Seas' (On How Victims Become Villains & Other Untold Stories Of Somali Piracy)

Here’s another Somali piracy film; this one from director Thymaya Payne, titled Stolen Seas.

It’s a feature length documentary that “finally exposes the untold story behind Somali piracy,” says the projects web page. And further, it’s said to be “an eye opening refutation of preconceived ideas on how or why piracy has become the world’s most frightening multi-million dollar growth industry.

Being a strong proponent of films on the subject matter that go beyond the surface, and that are comprehensive, telling the full story (or stories), from all sides, I found this one worth sharing.

Here’s a longer breakdown:

Welcome to piracy in the 21st century—where it’s anyone’s guess who comes out on top. It’s the story of 12 powerless men suffocating on a ship, and why their captors feel justified in their tyranny. It’s the story of a Somali translator who does the wrong thing for the right reason—trying to give his son a chance—and of all Somalia’s sons who will never have one. Stolen Seas is about the failure of international aid and the real for-profit solutions that could get these boys off boats. It’s another kind of story too: it’s a high seas adventure.

3+ years in the making, Stolen Seas includes exclusive interviews and unparalleled access to the just about every side of this story. The film throws the viewer, through audio recordings and found video, right into the middle of the real-life hostage negotiation of a Danish shipping vessel, the CEC Future – a situation that gives birth to an unlikely friendship. 

Currently starting its travels on the film festival circuit, the film had its world premiere at the Lorcarno Film Festival earlier this month, where it won the Boccalino d’Oro Independent Critics’ Award for Best Picture! So it’s clearly off to a good start!

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