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The Boston Globe


Movie Review

Cold reality for whistle-blower in ‘Diego Star’

Ships have taken on metaphorical cargo in such recent films as “Captain Phillips” and “All Is Lost.” In both they represent the economic toll on people caused by the leviathan known as globalization. Such is the case in Quebec director Frédérick Pelletier’s impressive debut feature, a stark, touching tale about the common humanity that connects people from alien backgrounds, and the institutionalized inhumanity that drives them apart. It opens Wednesday at the Museum of Fine Arts.

Like “Captain Phillips,” “Diego Star” dramatizes the disconnect between the corporate world, as represented by international shipping companies, and the disenfranchised Third World people whom they ignore or exploit. Traoré (Issaka Sawadogo, in a nuanced, moving performance) is no Somali pirate, as in “Phillips,” but a mechanic from the Ivory Coast working on the Russian-owned cargo ship of the title. But it seems like those working on the ships don’t get a much better deal than those who hijack them.

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