Part of Movies We Missed.
A hardworking Maltese fisherman, Jesmark is faced with an agonizing choice. He can repair his leaky luzzu – a traditional, multicolored wooden fishing boat – in the hopes of eking out a meager living at sea for his wife and newborn son, just as his father and grandfather did before him. Or he can decommission it in exchange for an EU payout and cast his lot with a sinister black-market operation that is decimating the Mediterranean fish population and the livelihoods of the local families who depend on it. LUZZU won a Sundance Jury Prize for its nonprofessional lead actor Jesmark Scicluna, a real-life Maltese fisherman, and heralds the arrival of writer-director-editor Alex Camilleri. His gripping film operates in the neorealist tradition of Luchino Visconti, Roberto Rosselini, and the Dardenne brothers and calls to mind the work of Ramin Bahrani, also a producer of the film.
“The type of deceivingly familiar film that helps us sail into a place and a lifestyle most of us ignore but that are made vividly compelling in the hand of a new storyteller with classically honed sensibilities.” ––Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times “An honest, affecting slab of working-class portraiture, altogether bracing with its thorny labor politics and salty sea air.” ––Guy Lodge, Variety “A moving portrait of a world in flux, and one man attempting to survive the changes thrust upon him by a baffling outside world.” ––Sheila O’Malley, rogerebert.com