This documentary records the events of the most celebrated mutiny in the annals of the sea: the 1789 revolt against Captain William Bligh in the West Indies. Was Bligh a sadistic disciplinarian who terrorized his crew? Or a superb and misunderstood seaman? Over 200 years later, the controversy surrounding this legendary captain still rages. The truth may lie in this narrative based on the ship’s log, in which Bligh writes of the resentful crew, ravaging storms, and uncharted islands that led to mutiny.
"Great For Cruising and Other Open Water Sailors"
In 1787, William Bligh, commander of the Bounty, sailed under Captain Cook on a voyage to Tahiti to collect plants of the breadfruit tree, with a view to acclimatizing the species to the West Indies. During their six-month stay on the island, his men became completely demoralized, and on the return voyage mutinied. Yet a resentful crew, coupled with ravaging storms and ruthless savages, proved to be merely stages leading up to the anxiety-charged ordeal to come.
In a personal but objective narrative based on the Bounty's log, Bligh himself tells of the stormy voyage to Tahiti, his crew's insatiable attachment to the island paradise, and the incredible 3,600-mile journey to safety after the mutineers cast him, and 18 loyal crew members, adrift in a small, open boat with few supplies. Bligh's detractors say this narrative has many distortions and omissions; others judge it a remarkably dispassionate record.
Captain Bligh's mission is simple: go to Tahiti and acquire a shipment of breadfruit trees. To his surprise, most of his crew decides they would like to stay in the South Pacific a little longer than he had in mind. Follow this tale of treacherous sailors and a captain's efforts to save those who have remained loyal to him.