“Fishing Without Net,” produced by VICE, in the words of it’s young director, Cutter Hodierne is an “art house action film”, and I agree with him. Set in the world of Somalia boat pirates, FWN balances the high seas sakes with real world drama. Using non-actors, mainly Somalian refugees living in Kenya, Hodierne crafts part a NatGeo documentary and part Captain Phillips. Though in my opinion, the suspense is feels more real than in Phillips. The authenticity of using non actors with improvised dialogue helps.
This is a hungry movie.
In the film all characters are motivated by it; whether its hunger for riches, hunger for food, or hunger to stay alive. Abdi the man at the center of this moral drama actions are controlled by the need to feed his family. It takes him to step outside his quite but difficult fishing life to join a band of pirates in his small Somalia village.
First time actor Abdikani Muktar (Abdi) plays the role to minimalist perfection. The worry is real here, and I imagine his background of growing up in Somalia only helps. All the other non-actors, mainly playing Pirates, look and feel like the genuine article. At times you forget you are watching a fictional narrative.
Hodierne’s film is beautiful to look at, using wide angles of the unmistakable landscape. He has a great eye for his surroundings, and against aids the credibility of the story.
This is a very solid film, but it’s not without its problems. There are times when Hodierne’s tale gets lost in that beautiful scenery and the narrative is a little thing. You can argue the pacing is a bit off, but that didn’t bother me. I would’ve like to have seen some of the plot details tidy up a bit at the end, but that’s me.
Overall, “Fishing Without Nets” is a powerful piece of narrative and succeeds in getting the “walk a mile in their shoes” moral across. Hodierne also solidify’s himself as a very promising up and coming filmmaker. In a world full of Michael Bay’s and Studio dictated blockbusters, it’s nice to see young talent walking that edge of art and social conscience. If you are in the mood for a docu-drama-suspense flick, look no further, than “Fishing Without Nets”, on VOD this Friday.