Luzzu Unclassified 18+
A lead turn reminiscent of Marlon Brando anchors this neo-realist look at the Maltese fishing industry.
Jesmark is caught between his devotion to the family trade – and his brightly-painted heirloom luzzu fishing vessel – and the worsening economic pressures surrounding it: the iron vice of Brussels’ bureaucracy is squeezing the local fishermen’s haul, his infant son needs expensive medical treatment, and the boat has sprung a leak. A trip into the murky waters of the seafood black market might hand him a lifeline … or a final break with tradition.
Maltese-American writer, director and editor Alex Camilleri turns the lens on his ancestral island home in this affecting debut feature – the first Maltese production ever selected for a major film-festival competition. Produced by arthouse mainstay Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes, MIFF 2015), and taking cues from the revelatory working-class portraiture of Ken Loach, Andrea Arnold and the Dardenne brothers, Luzzu is steered by a powerfully authentic performance from charismatic real-life fisherman Jesmark Scicluna, who won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting at this year’s Sundance.
“Camilleri profiles little-represented lives with intelligence and integrity … Altogether bracing with its thorny labor politics and salty sea air.” – Variety
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