The Captain and His Pirate

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Der Kapitän und sein Pirat

“Audience, meet the strange beauty in human behavior.” — Joanna Demkiewicz, Vox

Director: Andy Wolff
Year: 2012
Country: Belgium, Germany
Running time: 76 mins
Genres: Shipshape

Producers: Andy Wolff, Stefanie Brockhaus, Marion Hänsel
Photography: Andy Wolff, Tobias Tempel, Yusuf Guul
Editors: Ulrike Tortora, Michèle Hubinon
Sound: Paul Heymans
Music: Sebastian Zenke
In German and Somali, with English subtitles

With: Krzysztof Kotiuk, Ahado, Klaus Hartmann

A sharp study of untidy reality to set against A Hijacking or the forthcoming Captain Phillips, Andy Wolff’s documentary interrogates two survivors from either side of a hostage drama. Krzysztof Kotiuk, the officially disgraced captain of the invaded German container ship Hansa Stavanger, is interviewed – and undergoes theoretically therapeutic role-plays – in a German psychiatric hospital. His sense that his crew and the ship’s owners all abandoned him remains bitter and strong. Meanwhile, in a makeshift camp rife with violence in the Somali desert, a coolly eloquent Somali pirate named Ahado tells of the bond he forged with the stressed captain. We learn the harrowing details of the four months they spent together as captive and overlord aboard the ship. ‘In the end, I respected him. Like a Somali. Like a Muslim. Like a father,’ says Ahado. “Wolff suspends the viewer in a state of unease, ultimately, with this singular, tonally nimble double portrait of a brutal site-specific relationship.” — Nicholas Rapold, Film Comment