Director Nick Broomfield recently released Ghosts (鬼佬) on the film festival circuit. The movie tells the story of Chinese illegals eking out a living in England, and although we searched quite thoroughly on a recent trip to the states, evidently it is only showing in England at this time. Therefore, because we have yet to see Ghosts, we cannot comment much further, and instead, here is the synopsis from the movie’s website.
Based on true events, GHOSTS tells the story of Ai Qin, a young Chinese girl from Fujian, China. Ai Qin borrows $25,000 to pay the Snakehead gang to smuggle her into the UK so she can support her son and family back in China. Once in the UK, she becomes another one of the three million migrant workers that are the bedrock of its food supply chain, construction and hospitality industries. She lives with fifteen other Chinese in a two-bedroom suburban house and, with an illegally forged work permit, she works in factories preparing food for supermarkets. In her search for better paying jobs to repay her debts, she ends up cockling in Morecambe Bay at night. On February 5th 2004 twenty three Chinese illegal immigrants drowned in Morecambe. Their families in China are still paying off their debts.
Clearly, if Biggie and Tupac didn’t make you cry, this will. Obviously, this is some bleeding-heart stuff, and in fact, we’ve spoken to Fujianese who, based upon the above, are much less sympathetic than this film. Nonetheless, the film is timely, and we’re very keen to see it and take a view of this desperate story on a delicate subject. So if you have seen it or know anything about its distribution in China or appearance at film festivals, do tell.