Segments in this Video

Thrissur, India (04:12)


Stanley Vincent takes a job on a ship after his family suffers a financial crisis. Shankar Dutta is about to retire and promises it is his last trip. Pirates hijack the MV Royal Grace, taking 23 hostages on March 02, 2012.

Bosaso, Somalia (03:31)

Ships travel through Somalian straits to transfer goods from Asia and Africa to the United States and Europe. Costs will increase because of pirates. Executive Outcomes and Blackwater collaborated with the Puntland Maritime Police Force to stop the criminals.

Bosaso Base Camp (04:46)

Somalians arrive for training to become members of the PMPF. After screening to ensure their families are not part of pirate forces, recruits recieve uniforms; they cannot contact anyone for eight weeks. Gunfights and grenade attacks erupt daily in Mogadishu.

Counter-Insurgency Advisory and Assistance Team (03:06)

Roger Carstens frequently leaves his family for long periods of time and has spent time in Kosovo, Panama, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He decides to leave the U.S. Department of Defense to dedicate a year in discovering how to address troubled areas in Africa.

Traveling to Somalia (04:28)

Carstens visits the PMPF to observe their training program. Matt Bryden worries Erik Prince and Lafras Luitingh are more interested in profits than fostering development. Officers train recruits in marching.

Central Intelligence Agency (03:50)

Mike Shanklin facilitates positive information collection and meets with the international community. Bryden explains how the executives at PMPF obfuscated information and reports. Carstens captures images of the recruits training.

Kidnapped by Pirates (03:21)

Ghanesh Mohite describes how his ship was hijacked and held hostage for 33 months. Recruits participate in a live ammunition exercise. Roelf van Heerden is pleased with their progress.

Graduation Day (03:17)

Recruits participate in a military drill and shake hands with their officers. Leaders plan to search for the hijacked ship by aircraft. Scouts find the Royal Grace in a bay in Hul-Anod.

Seizing Eyl (03:59)

Somalia is a verbal society. Carstens watches as local residents greet the soldiers. The PMPF reports directly to the president.

Pirate Hostage (02:29)

Mohite describes his time imprisoned by Somalian pirates; victims believed NATO or the Indian government would rescue them.

Objective: Capture Isse Yulux (06:32)

There are no photos of the pirate leader; the criminals are part of the community. The PMPF plans on seizing Hul-Anod, Bargaal, and Raas Binne. Mt Smyrni has 26 hostages onboard; the soldiers find no individuals at the first location.

Death Threat (02:29)

Somali pirates give a deadline to the corporations. Family members of those held hostage attend a rally to implore the Indian government for help.

Destroying Pirate Vehicles (04:07)

The PMPF corners the Somali pirates and causes serious damage to infrastructure. Yulux engages the helicopters. The two ships pull anchor and move north towards Bargaal.

Bargaal, Somalia (04:51)

Residents inform the soldiers that the pirates have moved to Raas Binne. The PMPF captures some fishermen arriving on the shore.

Iskushuban, Somalia (03:33)

PMPF turns off all telephones in the area to prevent pirates from knowing their location. The convoy stops because trucks get stuck in the mud.

Mutiny Erupts (06:29)

Troops insist that the camera is turned off. One of the officers is assassinated.

End of the Mutiny (03:28)

The president asks the PMPF to continue its mission, but officers worry their soldiers cannot be trusted. Ammunition and weapons are removed until the assassin is found. The leadership finds that Yulux is responsible for the mutiny.

Puntland Maritime Police Force (03:13)

Bryden feels that PMPF is a good idea but entrusted to the wrong people. The United Nations stops recruits. In June 2012, the United Arab Emirates ceases to fund the PMPF and asks leadership to leave.

Rescue Operation (06:16)

PMPF decides to launch a rescue of the MV Iceberg. The militia uses a single boat to carry the hostages to safety. The Somali pirates do not know how to surrender.

Improving Conditions in Somalia (02:06)

If the PMPF is successful, children can receive an education. Pirates release the Royal Grace and Smyrni. Loved ones reunite with the hostages. Sharmistha Dutta remains onboard the Royal Grace, awaiting a new captain.

Credits: The Somali Project (02:01)

Credits: The Somali Project

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The Somali Project

3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



For eighteen months, an Emmy- and Peabody-winning film team risked life and limb to document one of the most audacious (and troubled) military missions ever imagined: a ground-up anti-piracy force in Somalia, the most lawless nation on earth. The film begins with pirates capturing the merchant vessel Royal Grace and holding its crew ransom. As the Grace's hostages—and those from dozens of other ships—languish in unspeakable conditions, a Persian Gulf state quietly bankrolls a paramilitary force to raid pirate havens and free the captives. That controversial force faces mutiny and murder and runs afoul of the U.N. before eventually coming face-to-face with the elusive pirates in an extraordinary battle captured on film.

Length: 83 minutes

Item#: FMK188559

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

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