A German captain and his crew get hijacked by Somali pirates. Feeling abandoned by the shipping company, the captain cooperates with the pirates’ leader. His only goal is to get his crew and himself home alive. But the pressure rises and his men gradually turn away from him. In the end, the Somali pirate turns out to be the captain’s only companion.

 Only two films into a promising career, German director Andy Wolff (ON THE OTHER SIDE OF LIFE, SXSW 2010) is unrivaled in creating a precise sense of place. In THE CAPTAIN AND HIS PIRATE he offers a striking juxtaposition of location—a makeshift pirate camp on a Somali desert and an experimental German psychiatric hospital. In these distant places we meet two men, the eloquent pirate leader Ahado and the troubled former captain Krzysztof Kotiuk. Gradually, we learn the harrowing details of the four months they spent together as captive and overlord aboard the Hansa Stavanger cargo ship. As the men struggle to come to terms with their strange bond, we discover something more powerful than social roles or moral norms: the overriding human need to be understood. (True/False Film Festival)

Feature documentary
Running time: 79 min. 
German / Somali with English subtitles (French subtitled version available) 
Production companies: Brockhaus/Wolff Films, Man's Films Productions, WDR, BR, HFF
Commissioning editors: Jutta Krug (WDR), Claudia Glaziejewski (BR)


Ein deutscher Kapitän und seine Crew werden von somalischen Piraten gefangen genommen. Von der Reederei im Stich gelassen, entscheidet der Kapitän sich dazu, mit dem Anführer der Piraten zusammen zu arbeiten. Sein einziges Ziel: Seine Crew und sich selbst lebend nach Hause zu bringen. Aber der Druck steigt, und seine Männer wenden sich von ihm ab. Am Ende stellt sich raus, dass der somalische Pirat der einzige Verbündete des Kapitäns ist.

Der zweite Film des deutschen Filmemachers Andy Wolff (ON THE OTHER SIDE OF LIFE, SXSW 2010) stellt zwei Orte gegenüber—Ein provisorisches Piratencamp an der somalischen Wüste und eine psychiatrische Klinik in Deutschland. An diesen entfernten Plätzen treffen wir die beiden Männer:
Den wortgewandten Piratenchef Ahado und den traumatisierten deutschen Kapitän Krzysztof Kotiuk. Nach und nach erfahren wir die Einzelheiten der erschütternden vier Monate, die sie gemeinsam als Gefangener und Geiselnehmer auf dem Containerschiff verbracht haben. Die beiden Männer ringen mit dem seltsamen Bündnis, das sie eingegangen sind. Der Zuschauer aber entdeckt etwas Stärkeres als gesellschaftliche Rollen und moralische Muster: Das menschliche Bedürfnis, verstanden zu werden.

Abendfüllender Dokumentarfilm

Länge: 79 Min. 

Sprache: Deutsch / Somali mit deutschen
Koproduktion von Brockhaus/Wolff Films, Man's Films Productions, WDR, BR, HFF
Redakteure: Jutta Krug (WDR), Claudia Glaziejewski (BR)

“Director Andy Wolff succeeds in capturing a differentiated picture. The audience observes a man who has come up against his limits, who has experienced his own abyss. This is what makes the film so striking.”


 “A very moving human story by Andy Wolff.”

– Deutschlandradio Kultur


 “This film is sensational. About the two sides of the truth. It accompanies Captain Kotiuk during a month-lasting therapy. The very fact that the filmmakers were able to film among pirates for several weeks is unbelievable. "Captain Phillips" is conventional Hollywood cinema with a happy end. "The Captain and His Pirate" is different. More courageous. It recounts the 122 days of captivity and the psychological abyss which they perpetrated in Kotiuk’s life. However, it also shows us a pirate who formulates precisely, and we are surprised by how sympathetic we find him. Yes, we think what Kotiuk says himself: “If Ahado was living here in Europe he’d have some middle-class job, he’s not a killer.” 



 “The Captain and His Pirate is spectacular. The film accompanies the captain during his therapy.  Simultaneously, the film becomes part of this therapy.” 

– TAZ, Berlin

Download the Film


Buy direct from the filmmaking team. Download to own a copy of The Captain and His Pirate.

Rent the Film


Rent the film direct from the filmmakers to watch The Captain and His Pirate for 7 days.

To order the film on DVD or Blu-ray, order a poster or  to organize  screenings send an email to: webmaster [at]

Brockhaus/Wolff Films

Milchstr. 11
81667 Muenchen 

Festivalanfragen & Fernsehrechte / Festival Requests & Global TV sales: 

Doc & Film International
13, rue Portefoin
75003 Paris

email: h.horner[at]
Phone : +33(0)1 42 77 56 87
Fax : +33(0)1 42 77 36 56