There are situations that no one in life should be accustomed to seeing; one such occurrence is the kidnapping and ransom of loved ones. For those unfortunate individuals that are taken they have no clue as what will happen next, the same of course goes for their family members as they wait for any sign that their loved ones will someday return. Personally I could not even begin to imagine what this process feels like but with the new documentary entitled Miracle Fishing we get a first-hand account of a family’s ordeal in handling the ransom negotiations over a loved one. Directed by the victim’s son Miles Hargrove, we watch the 11 month saga of how he along with friends and family worked together to bring their friend, father and husband Thomas Hargrove back home safely.
The entire film is home footage shot by Miles of everyone trying to negotiate and work with the captors, a Colombian Drug Cartel, to bring Thomas back. The story of Thomas’ kidnapping slowly made its way down the news pipeline as it was initially withheld from public knowledge in fear of what would happen to him. One could easily find out how this story ends by a quick google search but that is not what this film is about; if that were the case one could go watch Proof of Life starring Russell Crowe as Thomas’ story was the basis for the film. In watching Miles’ film we see the toll it takes on Thomas’ friends and especially his wife, Susan, who has known Thomas since they were children. It was amazing to watch the strength these people had because in the darkest times of their lives they still found time to laugh and enjoy each other’s company. As much pain as they were obviously feeling they did not let it cripple them into submission. The most daunting part of this whole “transaction” is any time the family had to make contact with the captors to agree on price or proof of life. They would use code words to avoid any real information but the cadence as to how they refer to a human life as if it were nothing is completely unnerving.
Miles provides an incredible insight as to how a family with no outside aide made the impossible a reality by bringing Thomas back home. His footage is a raw, unfiltered look as what many families in South America unfortunately have to deal with. It is a situation that happens all too often but in instances like Thomas Hargrove you have no choice but to take time and appreciate the good amongst the sea of wretched evil.
3 out of 5
Film will be available via Discovery+ Thursday March 25th
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