Screened as part of NZIFF 2013

The Captain and His Pirate 2012

Der Kapitin und sein Pirat

Directed by Andy Wolff

Andy Wolff’s doco separately interrogates the captain of a hijacked German container ship and one of the Somali pirates who held him and his crew hostage for four months. Startling account of the strange bond that grew between them.

Belgium / Germany In German and Somali with English subtitles
76 minutes HDCAM



Andy Wolff
Stefanie Brockhaus
Marion Hänsel


Andy Wolff
Tobias Tempel
Yusuf Guul


Ulrike Tortora
Michèle Hubinon


Paul Heymans


Sebastian Zenke


Krzysztof Kotiuk
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