A Hijacking

Director: Tobias Lindholm
Denmark | 2013 | Fiction | Various languages/subtitled when not English
Run Time: 99 minutes
Film source: Magnolia Pictures

A Hijacking

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Absolutely gripping from start to finish, A Hijacking eschews the action-packed histrionics one might expect from a Hollywood film with a similar premise, extracting incredible tension from the interpersonal relationships that underpin an international hijacking crisis. A Danish commercial ship is overtaken by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean, plunging into turmoil the lives of hostages, families, negotiators, and even those of the pirates themselves. The film’s great strength is in its highly subtle insights into the lives and behaviors of everyone involved in an incredibly delicate situation. Some of the film’s most touching and realistic scenes are those of the interactions between the captors and the hostages, who strike up an uneasy, complicated coexistence. A Hijacking is directed with supreme confidence by Tobias Lindholm: the actions he chooses to not present directly on screen carry as much weight as those we do see.

Director’s statement: Director’s Statement: Before I was born my father was a seaman, but he never spoke to me about it. Maybe that is why the sea has always been on my mind. With the hijackings of the Danish-owned freighters DANICA WHITE and CEC FUTURE in 2007 and 2008, I became aware of a reality that I did not know existed. A reality where shipping companies are forced to negotiate directly with pirates. A reality where pirates earn millions of dollars and a reality where seamen are held hostage for months without any influence on their own fate. I couldn’t make a film about the truth of the hijackings in the Indian Ocean, because I don’t believe that truth exists. But I could make a film about seamen, pirates, CEOs and relatives. Because they do exist. And if A HIJACKING feels like it is about them, then I am very close to my goal.