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Documentary sees life through Somali pirate's eyes


Cinema

Documentary sees life through Somali pirate's eyes

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‘Last Hijack’ is like no other documentary film you have seen before.

Looking at the world of piracy through the eyes of a veteran Somali pirate, it mixes classical documentary film making with animation.

Filmmakers Tommy Pallottae and his wife Femke Wolting teamed up for the movie, which tells the story of Mohamed, who wants to leave the world of crime for a normal family life with his new wife.

“His parents want him to stop doing piracy, his bride-to-be wants him to stop, but at the same time everybody wants money from him and things like that. So what he’s actually doing in the film is – he’s preparing for the wedding and reconnecting with his parents and his children, and at the same time he’s preparing for a hijacking. And he thinks in his mind, ‘If I can just do one more than I’m out of the game,’” says Tommy Pallotta.

The majority of the film consists of interviews with Mohamed, who explains both the pitfalls and the appeal of being a pirate. Animation is used when there is no footage available, or when the film examines Mohamed’s memories, fears and dreams, including the famine and tribal wars that led him to piracy.

“We had a painter, a Dutch painter who paints with oil paints on the canvas and then we took those paintings and we brought them into the 3D animated world. And that gives it a much more human touch. It sort of takes away the math from the animation and it changes the colour palette. And it was a real challenge because we knew that we wanted to switch between live action and animation, but you don’t want to take the audience out of the story,” says Tommy Pallotta.

‘Last Hijack’ is not only a full feature length film but also an interactive cross media project that allows users to view the story from multiple perspectives.

Out now in selected cinemas in New York and Los Angeles, it is and available on Video On Demand.

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