The Pirates of Somalia

Synopsis: In 2008, rookie journalist Jay Bahadur forms a half-baked plan to embed himself among the pirates of Somalia. He ultimately succeeds in providing the first close-up look into who these men are, how they live, and the forces that drive them.
Genre: Biography, Drama
Director(s): Bryan Buckley
Production: Crystal Sky Entertainment
Rotten Tomatoes:
116 min


- There's a time when the

operation of the machine

becomes so odious,

makes you so sick at heart

that you can't take part.

You can't even

passively take part,

and you've got to put

your bodies upon the gears

and upon the wheels,

upon the levers,

upon all the apparatus,

and you've got to make it stop!

- First, let me start by

saying Mario Savio's

"Operation of the Machine"

is one of my favorite

speeches of all time.

Mario wasn't a politician

or some famous Hollywood star.

He was just a student

who was for civil rights.

He stood on a car at Berkley

and screamed whatever

came into his head.

He didn't care that he had

a stuttering problem

or that he might get thrown

out of school, which he did.

He just wanted

his voice to be heard

and be unencumbered

by the machine.

As an investigative

writer that has yet

to be officially published,

I can relate to Mario's desire.

[scanning radio stations]

That's me behind the wheel,

Jay Bahadur, proud college

graduate of the class of 2007,

arguably the worst year

since the Great Depression

to graduate school,

but timing was

never my strength.

In fact, good timing seems to be

at odds with my very existence,

but like many

unpleasantries in life,

you just learn to deal with it.

- Afternoon, shoppers--

- Yo.

Hey, man. Is Mark Reiss here?

- Reissy? Oh, he left.

- Shit, really?

- Yeah.

- Damn it,

he was supposed to be here.

- It's kind of lousy out,

if you didn't notice.

He left early. Are you

interviewing for stock boy or--

- Me? No.

My name is Jay Bahadur.

I'm doing market research

on premium napkins.

Mind if I ask you

a few questions?

- Your name isn't even on here.

- I assure you, I am legit.

- You drove all the way

from Toronto

to ask questions about napkins?

- Premium napkins.

- Thought my job sucked.

- Could you show your

paper product aisle?

- But I'm just kind of busy.

- Is there a reason why the six

--reason why the six pack

This thing does

not like me.

[tape rewinding]

Is there a reason why

the six pack paisley napkins

are here and not here?

It's not a trick question.

- I--I think because it was just

easier putting them on the floor

than on the top shelf.

- And would making our packaging

more festive make you consider

moving the premium napkins

to the top shelf?

You're probably thinking

that a person

with my intellectual capacity

would loathe waiting for

that gentleman's answer

to my question.

But actually,

I feel quite the contrary.

- I would just leave them

on the bottom shelf, man.

It's less work.

- Less work.

Understanding what drives a mind

to react the way

it does to things

never ceases to amaze me.

My careful documentation of this

one man's opinion could,

in its own way,

reshape the patterns of napkins

on every home on this street,

including that one,

my ex-high school girlfriend,

Tracy Zicconi's house.

The darkened second-floor

window just a reminder

that she now resides

1,825 miles away at Stanford.

And I know it's

1,825 miles away

because I have an obsession

with Google Maps,

not with my ex-high

school girlfriend.

[horn blaring]

I was raised as a non-practicing


half-Indian living

at this address.

This is the home of Kailash

and Maria Bahadur.

My well-laid-out graduation plan

was only to visit my former

residence on festive holidays

such as Canadian

Thanksgiving and Christmas,

perhaps offering my skills at

turkey basting or tree trimming,

but this was 2008.

Plans evaporated.

Upon my graduation from the

esteemed University of Toronto,

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Jay Bahadur

Jay Bahadur (born 1984) is a Canadian journalist and author. He became known for his reporting on piracy in Somalia, writing for The New York Times, The Financial Post, The Globe and Mail, and The Times of London. Bahadur has also worked as a freelance correspondent for CBS News and he has advised the U.S. State Department on piracy. His first book, The Pirates of Somalia: Inside Their Hidden World (2011), is his account of living with the pirates for several months in Puntland, a semi-autonomous region in the northeast of Somalia. Bahadur currently lives in Nairobi, Kenya. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"The Pirates of Somalia" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 2 Jun 2020. <>.

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