Simshar is ravishing on the surface, merciless beneath

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      Simshar (Malta)

      Surrounded by remnants of the ancient world, the characters in this, the first indigenous feature film to come from Malta, find themselves in a painful drama as old as history, and as contemporary as the newest manufactured outrage blaring from CNN.

      Simon is a fisherman beset by financial woes and government interference. Meanwhile, a merchant vessel provides temporary and uncertain shelter for dozens of ailing African refugees. These tales barely overlap, at least until a mishap leaves Simon and his illegal fishing party, including 10-year-old son Theo, adrift in the Mediterranean Sea.

      Rebecca Cremona’s debut is ravishing on the surface, merciless beneath, and handy for shoving down the neck of anyone currently ranting about migrants and refugees on Facebook.

      Sunday at the Cinematheque (November 29).