A sea shanty of a family drama in director, Gilles Coulier’s story about three brothers fighting not only to keep their failing fishing business alive but to mend their own familial relationships. Rain crazed windows, the thrum of engines and the creaking of the ship’s boughs set the scene and much of the soundtrack to CARGO; a raw and relatable tale of doing what you can for the ones you love.

Following an incident during a fishing trip, Jean Broucke (Sam Louwyck) must make the hard decision to sell him family’s fishing vessel. The estranged and turbulent relationship he has with his brother William (Sebastien Dewaele) means Jean must attempt reconciliation in order to decide the businesses’ fate.

Set in maritime Ostend, CARGO highlights the difficulties surrounding the fisheries and the apprehension many of the workers hold in the present social climate. CARGO addresses immigration, fatherhood, family, coming out and the implications of a changing fishing industry all in 91 minutes while still allowing every aspect of the narrative even consideration while at the same time being careful not to compromise on plot.

In his debut feature, Belgian director Coulier successfully brings together land and sea in a poignant family drama. Heartfelt and gritty, CARGO will open your eyes to the fear, passion and obstacles faced by a family in an ebbing industry in which blood ties may not be enough.

CARGO screens at the Cambridge Film Festival on 25th October at 16.45.

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