We humans are hunter gatherers who have relied on the land and the sea for sustenance and much more dating back to the first days of man. Today, most of our food needs is catered for by mass production. Huge, often inhumane, industrialised farming practices and commercial fishing. Families who have fished the same waters or tended the same land for generations have been forced to do something else. Luzzu captures one such story.
Jesmark (Jesmark Scicluna) is a Maltese fisherman whose family have been working in the island’s waters for generations using the same Luzzu, a traditional fishing boat. He’s struggling to make a living and his vessel requires urgent repair. His wife (Michela Farrugia) wants him to take the EU pay-out, decommission it and take a job on a trawler. They’re desperately short of money, especially now their child needs medical care. Given this work is all he knows, he has a difficult choice to make.
Luzzu is a well-made drama which depicts the pressures between old and new in places where commercialisation hasn’t fully taken over yet. Writer/Director Alex Camilleri’s debut film handles its material really well. Bolstered by some great acting performance, it’s cleverly constructed. Building its message within a compelling narrative. Luzzu is an impressive first feature which highlights an important societal issue in an engaging way.
Luzzu is out in UK cinemas on 27 May.