A Somali Pirate’s Tale of Survival Debuts at NYFF

By Kristina Skorbach
Kristina Skorbach
Kristina Skorbach
Kristina Skorbach is a Canadian correspondent based in New York City covering entertainment news.
September 18, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

NEW YORK—In an interesting convergence of feature film narration, documentary footage, and animation, film makers Tommy Pallotta and Femke Wolting presented their “Last Hijack” at the New York Film Festival (NYFF) on September 16, 2014. 

“Last Hijack” tells the story of a professional Somali pirate, Mohamed, and the tension between his personal life and his dangerous life at sea. Just before Mohamed gets married his family and future in-laws tell him to quit his job, which was being condemned locally as well as internationally. 

Although his life is well documented, the scenes at sea and the flashbacks of his early life rely on animation, as well as the audiences’ imagination. 

The filmmakers are heralded for their boldness to be the first to tell the story from the perspective of a pirate, instead of simply demonizing the captors or taking the Western perspective like in the Hollywood thriller “Captain Philllips.” 

At the NYFF, “Last Hijack” is part of the Convergence series which means it will have an interactive presentation component to the film which allows for a transmedia experience.

“Using data visualization, animation, live footage, and audio, the online experience paints a picture not of perpetrators of crimes and victims but of real people whose actions have an effect on the world around them,” NYFF writes.

The 52nd NYFF is open to the public from September 26 to October 12, 2014. 

Kristina Skorbach is a Canadian correspondent based in New York City covering entertainment news.