Tom Hanks in “Captain Phillips” !!!

September 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

Welcome to the 51st annual New York Film Festival 2013!!!


The festival, which runs from September 27- October 13, 2013 is jam packed with incredible films including: “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Blue is the Warmest Color,” “Her,” “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” “Nebraska,” “About Time,” “All is Lost,” “American Promise,” “Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian,” and many more.

Ken Jones, the new director of programming, succeeding Richard Pena, introduced the director of “Captain Phillips,” Paul Greengrass (United 93), (Bloody Sunday). Paul shared with the audience how he and his 10 year old daughter took a walk in Central Park and he explained it’s been 40 years since he began his filmmaking career with a super 8 camera he found in his art room in secondary school. How he dreamed of becoming a director, showcasing a film at the NYFF. “It’s an honor to follow in the footsteps of “Battle of Algiers” director, Gillo Pontecorvo.”

Although Somali piracy has threatened international shipping since the beginning of Somalia’s ongoing Civil War which began in 1991, when a coalition of clan-based armed opposition groups overthrew the long standing military government, the majority of piracy cases have mostly occurred in the 2000’s, from 2005-2012.

I could write more about Somalia’s history, however, I would have to type the name of different factions and militant groups responsible for the mall shootings in Kenya, and I don’t want to take the chance.

In 2009 alone, over 70 ships had been hijacked by pirates in the waters off the coast of Somalia (the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden), one of which being the cargo ship the “Maersk Alabama.” On April 8-April 12, four Somali pirates seized the ship loaded with 17,000 metric tons of cargo, bound for Mombasa, Kenya, 240 nautical miles off Southeast of the Somali port city of Eyl, with a crew of 20 from “The United States Merchant Marines” onboard. Most of the occurrences are foiled, others end peacefully once the ransom has been received, and others incur fatalities.

The United States Merchant Marine (also known as USMMA or Kings Point) is one of the five United States service academies. It is charged with training officers for the United States Merchant Marine, branches of the military, or the transportation industry.

Midshipmen (as students at the Academy are called) are trained in marine engineering, navigation, ship’s administration, maritime law, personnel management, international law, customs, and many other subjects important to the task of running a large ship.

The Captain of the “Maersk Alabama,” Captain Richard Phillips was born in Winchester, Massachusetts and graduated from Winchester High School in 1973. Phillips enrolled at the University of Massachusetts and planned to study international law, but later transferred to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, where he graduated in 1979. During his schooling, Phillips worked as a cab driver in Boston. Phillips married Andrea Coggio, a nurse, in 1987, and had two children, Daniel and Mariah.

On March 28, 2009, he set off from his home in Underhill, VT to the waters off the coast of Oman and Somalia to unload cargo containers. Knowing he was in dangerous pirate territory, he ordered for the tightening up of security and for the cages to be locked, even while in port. At the same time, four pirates set out from Eyl, Somalia in 2 skiffs, with a mission to “get a big ship, so they can get paid.” When the Maersk noticed the skiffs on their radar, they went on lock down and prepared the fire hoses and necessary procedures, however, the ruthless pirates managed to place and climb up a ladder on board, screaming and demanding money. “$30,000 is nothing, we want millions!” “Irish, don’t move or I will —- you.” “Irish, don’t worry, everything going to be alright.”

This Hollywood psychological thriller, released by Sony Pictures, will have you sitting on the edge of your seat with your heart pounding, and if you like Tom Hanks, as much as I do, crying.

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Article by Sharon Abella

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