1 March 2019 | JvH48
Insightful documentary about shady fish catching practices at sea
Saw this at the Berlinale 2019, where it was part of the Culinary Cinema section. We watched an insightful documentary, about something that we (really) don't want to know. It is somewhat similar to our knowledge that we need cows/chicken/pigs to grow meat/eggs/milk, while at the same time being worried about their welfare. Nevertheless, we rather do not want to give up our daily portion of the final product.
That there was something sinister going on with sea food, was new to me. Firstly, there is the slavery which is the core of this movie's story. Indeed, a daunting fate for those who come into such a situation. Secondly, there is also the fact that these fishermen do not care about destroying the fish population in general: loads of extra incidental catch that they find in their nets, is thrown overboard as redundant stuff they don't need.
The people who succeed in escaping usually land on a very foreign coast, having no other choice than hiding in the jungle for years. There is no future for them. Their family in Thailand thinks they are dead, after having fruitlessly waited for a number of years. It is all very depressing, but the movie makes it abundantly clear and is impressive in that respect.
There is uncertainty about the number of contemporary slaves. The only sure thing we know is that the group of activists who we followed in this movie, already had found and repatriated some 5,000. In itself this is an impressive figure. It makes us wonder, however, how many are still there at sea, without any hope to escape. Estimates, mentioned at the end, vary wildly but numbers with 5 and 6 digits came about.
All in all, insightful but feeling helpless to do something about it, other than observing control stamps and quality labels on what we buy in the supermarket.