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On a rusting cargo ship in the South China Sea, it's the young Polish captain's first command. His mutinous Chinese crew suspect him and his unscrupulous Boss of planning to scuttle the ship for an insurance scam. When the crew abandon ship, the young captain is left alone on board, helpless, anchored in a bay. That night while waiting anxiously on deck, he finds a naked body floating in the sea below, tangled up in the ship's rope ladder. Pulling the ladder, the captain discovers a Chinese woman in distress. She climbs on board, saying only "Hide me". Dawn comes a few hours later and so does a search party, looking for a murderer..... (In English & Mandarin.) Inspired by Joseph Conrad's "The Secret Sharer"Written by
A beautiful movie adapted from a Joseph Conrad novel
Had the good fortune to meet the filmmaker at a private screening of this movie. Secret Sharer (2014) is a story about a young ship officer who is promoted to 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 from the waters off the coast of Thailand to a port in China. Upon arriving aboard, the young Captain is faced with complete indifference to his orders, and the motley crew is breaking all the rules: women, alcohol, laziness and potted plants everywhere. Just as he's able to brow beat them into begrudging action, a mysterious and beautiful naked young woman appears under cover of night and boards the ship, an apparent escapee from a nearby vessel - who we later learn is accused of murder. Near drowned she collapses in 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 shipmates who note 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 to determine a 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 novel at the end during the discussion was an added bonus. 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.
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