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104 minutes · 2013
Gripping and tightly focused, this drama by writer-director Tobias Lindholm chronicles the capture of a Danish shipping vessel by Somali pirates on the Indian Ocean, which sets off a grueling four-month ransom negotiation between the pirates and the shipping company. Lindholm understands the economic levers of modern-day piracy, but his masterstroke is keeping the pirates offscreen, for the most part, and instead dividing the narrative between two white Danes on opposite ends of the power equation: the ship's frightened cook (Pilou Asbaek), who wonders if he'll ever see his wife and child again, and the shipping company's neatly pressed CEO (Soren Malling), who insists on handling the negotiations himself but will answer to his board of directors for the ransom amount. The ultimate question is how much a human life is worth, and like everything else in the world of commerce, it's open to calculation. In Danish with subtitles.
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