Ed Ou & Will N. Miller
United States | 2023 | 12 min
Language : Chinese
Subtitles : French, English
Squid fishing on the high seas is one of the practices most called out by protectionist groups around the world, and the exploitation of its workers is repeatedly denounced by human rights organisations. This visually powerful film brings us dazzling images of a unique and terrible world: that of the fishing vessel, thousands of kilometres from home.
The world has changed significantly since Luchino Visconti portrayed Sicilian fishermen in his classic The Earth Trembles (1948). However, the risky working conditions, poverty and exploitation that fishermen face remain unchanged, or have worsened. Nowadays, however, it is not the anchovies what keep them awake, nor do economic exchanges take place in small coastal towns. Today the fishing industry deploys itself on the high seas, thousands of kilometres from their own coasts, generating billions of dollars a year, and the shortfin squid is its most profitable prey. Human rights activists and environmentalists have been raising their voices year after year, denouncing the mistreatment of workers and the ferocious looting that occurs at sea with unimaginable environmental consequences. Squid Fleet portrays this at once luminous and dark universe, through unsettlingly beautiful images and a poetic voice that weaves in the relationship and memories of a son who has inherited the profession from his father. In this sense, the film also presents us with the paradox between old traditions and modernity, and reminds us that both the earth, and the lives of the fishermen, still tremble.