An admirably balanced, wide-ranging look at the phenomenon of Somali high-seas piracy, Thymaya Payne’s doc presents these modern-day buccaneers as players in a vast global economic system. Drawing on an acute historical understanding, the film’s talking heads describe the African country’s current desperate climate in terms of its colonized past, while other subjects explore the dizzying regulations and loopholes of contemporary shipping. Payne takes care to chronicle the plight of the ships’ crews, caught between corporate interest and desperate rogue action, structuring his film around a 2008 incident involving a Danish ship. But for all their revealing firsthand footage, these segments oddly lack both dramatic intensity and the intellectual thrust of the film’s wonkier moments.
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