Director: Femke Wolting, Tommy Pallotta
Release Date: 8th January 2016
‘A true tale of survival told from a pirate’s perspective,’ Last Hijack is a rare bird: a documentary with animation. Its subject is piracy in the Indian Ocean, specifically by Somalian pirates, a phenomenon of the early 21st century created by Western imperialism now all but eliminated by aggressive NATO and Chinese measures in the area. Wolting and Palotta use rotoscoping animation to lend a hallucinatory quality to scenes, reconstructed from individual testimonies, but the film’s relatively small budget shines through, and the visuals never seem nearly as exciting or vivid as, say, A Scanner Darkly. This is mainly down to an irregularity of shapes and a low frame rate, and it’s a shame, because the film’s aesthetic is really its only selling point. Nobody cares about Somalian Piracy any more (if they ever did), and if some do, they oughtn’t to concern themselves with this cheap, reconstructed white gaze – completely oblivious to the imperialist narrative, of which it forms a superstructural component – on same.
Words: Oisín Murphy-Hall