Director: Keren Alexander / Israel / 2021

Category: Human Interest, Author’s Film

Production: Avishai Peretz, Levi Zini, Keren Alexander: Doc.Films;
Supported by The New Fund for Cinema and Television (NFCT), Israel.

Language: No dialogues.

Length: 60 minutes

An intimate travelogue that accompanies a man who refuses to accept what is less predictable than the wind and more frightening than the waves – growing old.

The tale of an 80 year old Captain sailing out to open seas for the last time on his beloved self-built boat. His voyage is dependent on no place, time, or destination; his aim isn’t to reach any particular place, and perhaps not even to return. He battles neither a massive wave nor a great whale; his battle is against the dilapidated body of the boat and his own unwillingly faltering body. Surrounded by sounds of depths, he refuses to accept what is less predictable than the winds and more frightening than the waves – growing old. The film is an intimate observational travelogue, and a poetic interpretation of “The old man and the sea”.
*a coda (Italian for “tail”) is a concluding segment passage that brings a musical piece to an end.

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Festivals & Awards:

  • HANIFF Hanoi International Film Festival, Vietnam 2022
  • The International Festival of Cinema and the Sea, Sidi Ifni, Morocco 2022
  • Docaviv Film Festival, Israel 2020

Director's statement:
I grew up near the seaside of Tel-Aviv, and spent most of my youth sailing little wooden boats, painting oars, folding sails and weighing anchors. At the age of 17, we sailed for the first time into the deep open seas, where I first experienced the addictive power and serenity of the big blue. When I met Captain Meirson, a veteran sea-scouter himself, I felt as if a certain thread connected us, and I knew I had to shoot his very last sail. CODA FOR A CAPTAIN was shot during three weeks of sailing in the Aegean sea on a small boat, only the Captain, the cinematographer, and me. In this film I wish to convey the experience of the Captain’s voyage as closely to reality as possible. The camera functions like a “fly on the mast,” providing a view of the day-to-day activities on board with intimate details and moments. As we sail on, the cinematic style shifts and the camera’s POV does not stay ‘objective’, entering more into the mind of the captain. It becomes, in a way, a stream of his consciousness. And so, the external voyage reflects the inner parting voyage of a veteran-mariner at the end of his life. The result is a small and intimate film, reaching to grasp a piece of it’s protagonist’s soul. The wonderful soundtrack was created by Daniel Meir who brought back to life the vision of the brilliant Alex Claude who passed away during the work on the film. This creation is his Coda as well. *Captain Meirson passed away last February. This 3 weeks sail with us to the Aegean sea was his last journey.
Keren Alexander

Movie Review:  
* « A final journey, mute and ascetic, is at the heart of the film 'Coda for a Captain'. Stubborn, uncompromising documentation of the last voyage of Captain Myerson, 80, on a boat he built with his own hands. He goes out to sea on his own. This is the kind of observation that is hard to find today. A raw experience, which leaves a lot of room for the viewer's imagination and psyche, and allows them to be absorbed in the sounds of the boat, in the taste of the waves, in the infinite horizon. The photography is beautiful, impressive to see the richness of language and diversity that the creators were able to find in the meager space of a modest boat. The soundtrack perfectly complements the picture of the world, the voices present, close, touching. »
Passion and Silence / Elad Kidan / South cinema notebooks (Hebrew)