File this one under the broad category titled “the business of war.”
Certainly nothing new; recall the debate of Blackwater’s involvement in the Iraq War in the early 2000s. Likely due to the negative press the company received at the time, its name was changed to Academi as it’s now known as.
From directors Shawn Efran and Adam Ciralsky comes The Project, which profiles the precarious, real-life story of the Puntland Maritime Police Force, a secret paramilitary group of Somali pirate hunters, backed by the UAE, locally recruited and trained, with the primary goal of preventing, detecting and eradicating piracy and other illicit activity off of the coast of Somalia.
The documentary is described as follows:
Taking the hijacking of the African waterways and the kidnapping of innocent citizens into their under-trained hands, the PMPF face mutiny, death and a loss of corporate funding in their dangerous quest to free the Middle East shipping industry from piracy.
The Puntland Maritime Police Force is made up of mercenaries who are trained under the watchful eye of former U.S. Army Special Forces operative Roger Carstens, on a mission to wage war on the high seas to rescue dozens of piracy hostages.
And speaking of Blackwater, The Project features interviews with Blackwater founder Erik Prince and the UN’s arms embargo monitor Matt Bryden, along with firsthand footage from filmmakers embedded within the PMPF.
It’s said to be a gripping, real-life war thriller exposing an unknown, anything-goes battle for control of the seas in one of the most dangerous places on earth.
Hmm… so many recent films (fiction and non-fiction) tackling “Somali piracy.” We’ve covered a number of them. This one seems to specialize on the PMPF specifically, so it’s not a comprehensive document of events surrounding the entire piracy phenom.
It also appears to take a matter-of-fact approach to its subject, without any conversation about what’s at the root of the piracy.
But I haven’t seen it yet, so this is all based on the bits of information (including the trailer below) that I have.
It’s screening at the ongoing 2013 Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), here in New York City, and it’s on my to-see list, so hopefully I’ll be able to squeeze it in before the festival ends, and share my thoughts afterward.
Here’s its brand-new trailer for a glimpse: