A film that adroitly captures through the lens a leaf out of history concerning part socio-political and part economic upheavals that rocked Albania during 1991, The Human Cargo sophisticatedly enough unveils that period human drama for current generation.
Before the “sweet” ship Vlona could off-load its 10,000 tons of sugar merchandise from Cuba, it is besieged by some 20,000 disgruntled people who force Captain Halim Muilaqi to set sail to Italy.
The exhausted and reluctant captain is left with no choice except to risk his and their lives and steer the heavy ship on a tottering engine and absence of food-water supply, unless the laden sugar is to serve as the substitute for both!
People suffering from privation, misery and total cut off are intent on pursuing their dream, though hung as it is on a gossamer thread.
Looking like a cross between a massive bee-hive and an equally massive ant hill, the cheerful chants of “Italia-Italia” as the ship nears the Bari port, the excited hoard finds its dream going sour.
Unheard and maltreated, for the Authorities are totally taken by surprise and shock, they are herded into a sports stadium, where most of the helicopter-droppings of food and drinks are as usual capitalized by the thugs expert at the job.
Gradually in a typical out-of-frying-pan-into-the-fire fashion they find themselves being transported back as unceremoniously as they had come.
The Human Cargo carries meaningful though somewhat dimmed-by-time footage of interviews then taken live, the actual words and photos thus doing the talking rather than the film makers blowing up thus sensitive and jarring issue out of proportion themselves.
Excellently planned, The Human Cargo does fall heavy on the sense, the subject being one of human transportation.
Rating: 3 stars
By Joseph Rana, Editor-in-chief, His Master’s Review
- Lavazza Italian Film Festival 2013 – Preview and ‘The Interval’ review (hismastersreview.com)
- The Lavazza Italian Festival is almost here! (supermarcey.com)
- Giveaway: Lavazza Italian Film Festival (filmblerg.com)