Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Seafarers


There’s no way to describe this other than “awful.” It’s not even a documentary, was probably never shown in theaters. It’s a thirty-minute commercial and recruiting film for the Seafarers International Union. Somehow the title led me to think I’d be seeing some ships, maybe sailing ships. Actually, there are only about two or three minutes of shipboard activity, all aboard tankers and freighters. All the rest takes place in the union hall, where the virtues of joining up are sung to the skies. They could have shown this over and over to prisoners at Abu Ghraib and dispensed with the cattle prods and such. Amnesty International would have classified it as a war crime, and I’d agree.