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Captain Morgan…More Than a Myth

January 17th, 2013 · No Comments

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Haussman & Fritz

Michael Haussman & Fritz Hanselmann

The stories about him are made from myth or man By Valerie Milano Hollywood, CA (Hollywood Today) 1/16/2013 – “That’s what that shipwreck really does. It allows us to kind of have this glimpse of not just Morgan but what was the atmosphere, what was the environment he operated in.” – Fritz Hanselmann, Lead Archaeologist on the found shipwreck that was the subject of new documentary, The Unsinkable Henry Morgan. This past Tuesday, January 15th, Downtown Independent hosted a special screening of the film chronicling eight women and men on their journey to discover evidence of the infamous Captain Morgan along the coast of Panama. Hanselmann is currently the Chief Underwater Archaeologist for Texas State University and was led to seek out the ship by his passion for uncovering the mysteries of history, especially those having to do with vessels lost at sea “It’s really fascinating – we’ve literally just scratched the surface.” Fritz Hanselmann on potentially linking items found on the expedition to Captain Morgan. Now, most of us have probably had a taste of Captain Morgan rum and noticed the distinguished figure on the label, unknowing of the origins behind it. Such was the case for Director Michael Haussman (The Last Serious Thing), who admittedly didn’t realize the spiced rum mascot was an actual person. Despite this or perhaps because of it, he was intrigued enough to take the project. After further research and assembling a team consisting of photographers, period costume designer and a Captain Morgan expert to name a few, Haussman helped weave a story together out of Hanselmann’s work. Hausmann does an extraordinary job of capturing not only the legend of Henry Morgan and his notorious relationship with Panama, but also the relationship between the crewmembers as they begin to assess that the ship likely did not belong to the 17th century pirate. Visually stunning, truly interesting and at times very funny, The Unsinkable Henry Morgan is set to debut at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend and will later be available to the public on the Sundance Channel. While the excavation did yield several artifacts that are currently being tested, it remains unknown if Captain Henry Morgan and the stories about him are made from myth or man. Hanselmann, who is permitted by the Panamanian government to conduct his research, will continue to visit the shipwreck on his quest for discovery, though whether or not it will be documented for film is uncertain. Until then, The Unsinkable Henry Morgan is an excellent place to begin.

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