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Criticism of ‘Luzzu’, the first film that dazzled at Sundance

Alex Camilleri makes his directorial debut with this drama about the life of a Maltese fisherman.

Are there still lonely fishermen with their humble boats like the one Spencer Tracy and John Sturges recreated in ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ (1958)? At one point in ‘Luzzu’ there is talk of an old boat as the ideal object to decorate the center of a roundabout; as a vestige and testimony, then, of the past. But its protagonist still works in a small boat, and he has it raw: to his poor performance (the fish market ignores him, the restaurants to which he tries to sell four fresh fish ignore him, etc.), his personal problems are added: the boat it breaks down and needs to be fixed, your baby needs expensive medical care… The solution will pass, not without disgust, by embracing the new times.

That boat that has passed through several generations of the same family is, in fact, as much a protagonist of ‘Luzzu’ as its owner. Camilleri’s film, an exotic Maltese falcon in the billboard zoo, is thus an elegy like the one that Alexander Mackendrick sang in ‘La bella Maggie’ (1954) to a dilapidated barge. At all times, a pleasant neorealist air blows through the four sides of ‘Luzzu’.

For those who are moved contemplating a world (old, beautiful) that disappears

The best: the solid realism that Camilleri breathes into his images.

The worst: the figure of the mother-in-law is an unnecessary emphasis.


Direction: Alex Camillery Distribution: Jesmark Scicluna, Michela Farrugia, David Scicluna Giusti, Frida Cauchi, Uday McLean Original title: L’événement Country: malt Year: 2021 Release date: 03-18-2022 Gender: Drama Script: Alex Camillery Duration: 94 min.

Synopsis: Jesmark, a Maltese fisherman, faces a new leak in LUZZU, his wooden boat. The ship is barely surviving, and Jesmark sees his livelihood and a family tradition of generations put in jeopardy by declining labor, a ruthless fishing industry, and a stagnant ecosystem. Desperate to provide for his wife and his newborn son, who needs special medical treatment, Jesmark slowly becomes involved in an illegal black market fishing ring.

Source: Fotogramas

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