Music for Alice Doušová’s film, Kinloss.
Danish shipping company Maersk Line owns the largest containership fleet in the world, with over 600 vessels at its command. A multi-billion dollar industry invisible to many (yet involved in 90% of all cargo transport), a career in shipping promises significant financial reward- let alone the timeless allure of adventure upon the waves.
As Kinloss aims for the next port and day merges into night, we embark on a journey of our own: roaming between the waves and the sky, the control centre and the engine room, the canteen and living quarters. This behemoth of a ship carries a multi-million dollar cargo, along with 23 men and women from around the world- all subject to its strange version of place and time.
As we witness the continual activity demanded by the vessel and its schedule, we hear conversations with members of the crew- and the hidden reality of their work gradually permeates what we see. On board for up to nine months, their experience ranges from Ryan, a young Engine Cadet three months into his first contract, to Captain Kyaw Thu Ya, with over 33 years of employment at Maersk.
Just as the contents of the containers is never known, the identity of those we hear floats just beyond our reach. But through these reflective, personal recordings, the voices and stories of those who facilitate our global consumerism travel to us on land: sharing the possibilities, and costs, of a life spent at sea.
The filmmaker shot the tons of steel moving between Busan and Shenzhen as both a wasteland inhabited by a few human beings and an industrial monument to the cold beauty and helplessness of the advanced phase of consumer capitalism. Fragments of cabins, decks, engines, massive ropes and breathtaking views of the sea complement the depersonalised narratives of a cosmopolitan line-up of employees of the world’s largest transport corporations.