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The Secret Sharer: Movie Review of Debut Screening of Oscar-winning Filmaker's Latest

abstract:I had the good fortune to meet Oscar-winning filmmaker, Peter Fudakowski (Tsotsi 2005 Best Foreign Language Film: producer credit) at a private screening of his latest movie The Secret Sharer (2014) in Whistler, BC. to which Fudakowski is both the writer and director. This is a film completely unlike his previous, but equally deserving of superlative accolades. Shot on a decaying freighter in the coastal waters off Thailand with actors speaking both English and Chinese language with subtitles it is quickly being picked up at Film Festivals around the world.

The Secret Sharer is a story about a young ship's officer, (British actor, Jack Laskie) who is promoted to the rank of captain for the purpose of taking commission of a cargo freighter whose wayward crew has taken control, making it their floating possession. Orders are to return the vessel to its owner at a port in China. Upon arrival on aboard ship, the young Captain, who speaks perfect Chinese, is faced with complete indifference to his orders by the motley crew. And they are breaking all the rules: women, alcohol, laziness and potted plants everywhere.

Just as


March 13, 2015
— he's about to succeed in brow beating them into begrudging action, a mysterious and beautiful naked young woman (popular Chinese TV host and actress Zhu Zhu) steals aboard ship under cover of night, an apparent escapee from a nearby vessel who it will later be learned is accused of murder. Near drowned she collapses into the arms of the young Captain who is immediately captivated.

While attempting to determine her true background he conceals her in his cabin, bringing food from the ample galley of his now curious and unwitting shipmates who take note of his sudden change in attitude, and plot to win him over to their purpose, which is to do anything that will allow them to remain on this conscripted "houseboat".

When orders from the owner arrive instructing the Captain to scuttle and sink the ship, he follows his code of honour and determines a course of action to a possible solution to everyone's problem, just as an approaching storm carries the film toward its conclusion.

The exquisite cinematography, music, casting choices and sensitivity of the actors will keep you spellbound. To learn the story is adapted from a Joseph Conrad novela" as revealed in the filmmaker's discussion was an added bonus. Conrad wrote the piece in 1909 in just under two weeks while working on another larger novel, Under Western Eyes. It first appeared in Harper's Magazine. This is a gentle, beguiling and sensitive film filled with human frailty, passion, humour and morality through the lens of a mariner's code of conduct. A must see. Mixed English and Chinese language with accompanying subtitles.

Wikipedia listing Peter Fudakowski
The Secret Sharer Imdb listing.
Wikipedia listing Joseph Conrad



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