by: Magda Katz
The 51st New York Film Festival opened with Captain Phillips, a multi-layered examination of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates.
It is through director Paul Greengrass’s distinctive lens simultaneously a pulse-pounding thriller, and a complex portrait of the myriad effects of globalization. The film focuses on the relationship between the Alabama’s commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (two time Academy Award@-winner Tom Hanks), and the Somali pirate captain, Muse (Barkhad Abdi), who takes him hostage. Phillips and Muse are set on a unstoppable collision course when Muse and his crew target Phillips’ unarmed ship; in the ensuing standoff, 145 miles off the Somali coast, both men find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control.
The screenplay is by Billy Ray, based upon the book A Captain’s Duty:Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty.
The film will be released in theaters nationwide on October 11, 2013.