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UK: Tartan Films
Cast: Al Qin Lin
Director: Nick Broomfield
Language: English / Mandarin (part English subtitles)
UK: 96 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language
UK Release Date: 12 January 2007
This film is based on a true story. It is disturbing portrayal of a secret world that is all around us.
Ai Qin, a young Chinese girl from Fujian, China, borrows $25,000 to pay Snakeheads to smuggle her into the UK illegally so she can support her son and family back in China. Once in the UK she becomes another one of 3 million migrant workers that are the bedrock of its food supply chain, construction and hospitality industries. She lives with eleven other Chinese in a two-bedroom suburban house. With illegally forged work permits, they work in factories preparing food for British supermarkets. In their search for better paying jobs to repay their debts they end up cockling in Morecambe Bay off the Lancashire coast at night. On February 5th 2004 twenty-three Chinese drowned in Morecambe Bay and their families in China are still paying off their debts.
Ai Qin and the other principal characters are played by Chinese former illegal immigrants who have drawn on their life experiences to give passionate and authentic performances. The director, Nick Broomfield, has stepped out of his documentarian role, to create a grippingly compelling film that will change your views on the entire migrant population. It will also have you wondering about slavery in the 21st century.