‘Captain Phillips’ fails Somalis

Movie misrepresents Somali community

Khadija Charif

When great movies come to mind, rarely do people think of ignorant or stereotypical films.
Recently released in October, the Tom Hanks film “Captain Phillips” has left many Somali viewers wondering about how Somalis were portrayed. The story behind piracy issues was not only overlooked, but the idea of “white saviorism” played  large role in the film.
The concern regarding the film comes from how the Somali pirates were portrayed in the picture. The movie depicted Somalis as greedy savages with broken English and poor hygiene.
It is obvious that this piracy did not become an issue quickly, as portrayed in the movie.
Yet in the film, little is shown about the backgrounds of the pirates themselves.
In fact, when they are first introduced in  the movie, they’re shown as greedy men screaming at the top of their lungs and trying to find a crew members for their attack.
The lack of  structured government to regulate the legal and illegal activities of the country was surprisingly well expressed.
Yet the movie overlooks the history behind piracy issues and how the piracy came to be what it is today. The movie showed the Somali pirates as desperate young citizens who were forced to do as they did to survive at all cost.
It should be taken into account that the movie should have been filmed in the eyes of the Somali pirate citizens.
The directors should have strayed from beloved movie structures of white saviorism. This where the main character, who is white, plays the hero of the movie and doesn’t take into account other points of view.
These expressed concerns on this issue do not justify what injustice the pirates created, but it seeks to rectify the truth behind what occurred, and why it happened as it did.
When watching movies like these, it’s better not to base your emotions solely on movies, that not only dramatize events but also lacks important historical information.