Documentary screening & discussion ‘Ghost Fleet’ Uncovering dark story of human trafficking


IO, Jakarta – The United States Embassy to Indonesia held a screening of a documentary film titled ‘Ghost Fleet’, at MyAmerica, US Embassy Jakarta, Central Jakarta (7/8/2019). The film is based on a true story and directed by Shannon Service and Jeffrey Waldron.

People usually consider slavery as part of history. But in the global fishing industry, modern forms of slavery occur deep in the sea where no one can be a witness.

The documentary tells the story of a Thai human rights activist, Patima Tungpuchayakul, who led a campaign to help victims from all over Southeast Asia and expose the violations they experienced.

After being sold to a Thai fishing company by human traffickers, the captives leave for months, even years, without setting foot on the ground, making little or no pay, trapped on boats in dangerous conditions.

At Ghost Fleet, viewers will follow Patima and her team’s fight on a rescue mission to bring back victims who have been detained for years.

Senior journalist, Erwin Purba explained based on the perspective of the journalists covering the work done by Patima with a team from Thailand. “This film, if we say, is something worthy of praise for actually applying journalistic techniques, when looking for information, it does not go directly to the problem, but approaches it by recognizing their lives,” said Erwin.

“Another thing that we can learn from here is the director. This film utilizes the emotions of those interviewed to show it when that person has never returned home or does not want to return home with us, some are married, have children, even have forgotten their mother tongue for 20 years,” he added. (rei)