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A debut of a talented director: the working-class fishermen on the island of Malta

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Luzzu, September 24. Part of Ashland Independent Film Festival’s World Film Week(s)

The first film from talented director Alex Camilleri is a glimpse into a community rarely seen in dramatic features: the working-class fishermen on the island of Malta. The luzzu of the title is a boat, painted in bright colors, that has been used to trawl the waters of the Mediterranean for over a century. One such vessel belongs to Jesmark, a young man carrying on the fishing traditions handed down by the men in his family, but has been dry docked for repairs. Needing money to help care for his infant son, Jesmark finds himself working on the black market, catching out-of-season fish and slashing other fishermen’s nets for quick cash. Through this story, Camilleri gives a harsh assessment of the EU’s efforts to dismantle the small-scale fishing industry on this island in favor of corporate interests and how modernity can serve to destroy generations of customs and traditions.

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