With many big-budget Hollywood blockbusters set to dazzle and distract us from our otherwise mundane and un-entertaining lives in the coming months, it’s still pleasing to know that some actual film artists are still to be found amongst all that money. And if you like your fiction with a little dose of reality, you can’t go past the Maltese film, Luzzu.
- The Plot
Known as somewhat of a Mediterranean holiday destination, and also the iGaming capital of the world, Malta is a country that has really been fighting the balance between tradition and capitalisation over the years. And this is just what Luzzu portrays with this directorial-debut, masterpiece.
We follow small time fisherman, Jesmark, who is following in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather, making a living from the sea in a traditional Maltese fishing boat, a Luzzu. But as the big bad world evolves around him, the small fish get eaten by the big and Jesmark is forced to decide between carrying on the family tradition or abandon what he knows and loves to provide long-term security for his new family.
With the knowledge that his infant child will face years of an uphill medical battle due to a growth impediment, Jesmark gradually embarks on a life in the black-market fishing game, much to his own disappointment.
It’s generally more likely that one would find the fastest withdrawal online casino Canada offers to make a quick buck, like those found at https://new-casino.ca/articles/fast-payout, but it seems that no-one informed Jesmark!
- The Cast and Crew
Writer, Director and Editor, Alex Camilleri, wanted to perfectly en-capture his native Malta and shadowed local fishermen, Jesmark and David Scicluna. For two years he delved into their world of small time, local fishing. Jesmark, whom is a fisherman by trade and with no acting experience, provides an extremely honest and factual portrayal of himself and in fact won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting at the Sundance Film festival.
This is Camilleri’s directorial debut and as well as its Sundance success, Luzzu has been long-listed for the European Film Awards, the first Maltese Film to do so. Jesmark is supported by local Michela Farrugia who portrays his wife and right hand, holding up her side of the screen with ease.
- Why Watch?
As a stand-alone film, Camilleri has done an exceptional job of portraying the everyday life of the small-time business owner and the struggles they have with tradition and the evolving way of life we are becoming accustomed to. A life where the price is taking over from quality and the big fish of the world reap (and rape) the business rewards.
Yes, this is a movie about a fisherman and his life, and some may find that a little hard to associate with at first glance. But this movie is far beyond its plot.
Malta itself, a thriving mecca for Hollywood’s blockbusters over the years, has been the backdrop for cinema royalty like Munich, the Devils Double, World War Z and Murder on the Orient Express. Not that many of us would know it. Cheap labour, little red tape, and an overall sense of “money talks” was its allure. Luzzu on the other hand, has an absolutely tiny budget, has a fisherman as the main actor, and provides us with a glimpse of real cinematic brilliance that money cannot buy.
This little fish in a big pond scenario relates more and more to our everyday lives whichever corner of the globe we live in. Capitalization, and the greed that comes with it, has certainly shaped the tiny, Mediterranean island over the years, as it has the planet. It’s become a world where the mighty prospers and the tiny flutter away.
Luzzu, shot on a tiny island with its tiny budget, is full to the brim of big-hearted acting from gifted fisherman Jesmark Camilleri. But it’s the magic of Director Alex Camilleri that makes this one of the must-see films of the year for those that crave reality and the perils that come with it. 100% recommended.