Stolen Seas (2013)



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The filmmakers have spent the past three years traveling to some of the world's most violent locales in order to make this documentary on Somali piracy, Stolen Seas. Utilizing exclusive interviews and unparalleled access to real pirates, hostages, hostages' relatives, ship-owners, pirate negotiators and experts on piracy and international policy, Stolen Seas presents a chilling exploration of the Somali pirate phenomenon. 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. As the haggling between the ship's stoic owner Per Gullestrup, and the pirate's loquacious negotiator, Ishmael Ali, drags on for 70 days, these two adversaries' relationship takes an unexpected turn and an unlikely friendship is born. Stolen Seas is an eye opening refutation of preconceived ideas on how or why piracy has become the world's most frightening multi-million dollar growth industry. (c) Official Site
Documentary , Special Interest
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Critic Reviews for Stolen Seas

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (7)

What really elevates the film ... is the crucial context that Payne provides to explain - but not justify - the pirates' actions.

Full Review… | April 18, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

A documentary of such ambitious scope that you might need a remote control and a notebook to keep up with it.

Full Review… | February 6, 2013
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Digs deep into the subject of piracy, arguing that it's less an anachronism than a sign of the times.

Full Review… | February 5, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Magnificent in its thoroughness and nuance, this dense, multifaceted study of Somali piracy really needs to settle down.

January 17, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

A dense, sometimes dangerous 90-minute immersion in a world where lawlessness applies to all sides and, shockingly, international shipping companies would rather pay the ransoms than address the underlying problems.

Full Review… | January 16, 2013
Top Critic

This drama is couched in illuminating context ...

Full Review… | January 15, 2013
Village Voice
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Stolen Seas

5/31/15 Netflix The third leg on the Somali piracy stool, Captain Phillips, Fishing Without Nets and now Stolen Seas. Hollywood main stream, European/African acted and documentary. This film may be the best and most in depth in telling all aspects of the story and covering all the problems from the business, ethnic and geo political aspects. Somalia is a screwed country as are the majority of its citizens.

Nick Ueber
Nick Ueber

The amazing thing about this documentary is that it tells the other side of piracy in the gulf of Aden...story of a country (Somalia) abandoned by the international world even when its neighbours get much-sought help after their respective independence. In a country where there is absolutely no way of escaping poverty (except thru crime and corruption), these pirates are simply looking to improve the lives of their families and their villages. This documentary opens our eyes about the fact that the Western countries choose to tackle the problem by sending more battleships to deter the piracy problem instead of helping to build schools and hospitals to ameliorate the conditions of Somalians. Sad.

Thomas Andrikus
Thomas Andrikus

Anything Somali Pirates I enjoy. So this is going to get a high mark. Interestingly enough though this was some good incite on the pirates and where they come from. I think the best tidbit of information is that they are all ex-fishermen who couldn't fish anymore because of American assholes. Truth is, while yes they can't fish as much, most of them are not ex-fishermen. They are just assholes. That's life for ya. Good Concept, Good Execution.

Erick Freitas
Erick Freitas

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