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A Hijacking


Year: 2012 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: It is expected that this film is fully subtitled. 
Directed by Tobias Lindholm 
Starring: Pilou Asbæk, Søren Malling, Dar Salim  
An image from A Hijacking

A Hijacking is the complete antithesis of a Hollywood hostage drama. It’s devoid of the tired clichés and predictable story lines audiences have become accustomed to.

The film is an in-depth examination of the hijacking of a Danish-owned freighter by Somali pirates. The two central characters are the ship's cook and the shipping company's C.E.O. who negotiates with the Somali pirates. Both deal with the incredible pressure and moral dilemmas of the hostile situation.

Throughout the film there is an almost obsessive concern for realism; the scenes with the crew and pirates were filmed on a real freighter, which had once been hijacked off the coast of Somalia itself; the offices of a real shipping company were used and the hostage negotiator used as a consultant plays the part of a hostage negotiator. The film takes place almost entirely in confined spaces: in the company's offices, the ship's cabins or cargo deck with occasional glimpses of the outside sea and the sky.

Much of the film is a study of a man's moral education and courage as he learns to take others' advice, coming close to psychological collapse amidst the hope for triumph. He accepts his duty to take responsibility for what has happened, even if it is out of his control.

The plot is tight and flows nicely with the pace of the film. The cinematography beautifully emphasizes the realism and the tense atmosphere. Even the score is wonderfully understated yet fully appropriate. This is without a doubt one of the most suspenseful films in recent years.

Raghav Bali

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Screenings of this film:

2013/2014 Autumn Term (digital)