MOVIE TIPS


A bar at Victoria Station (Bar na victorii)

Director: Dawid Leszek, Poland 2003, 55 min.

Piotr and Marek are two young Poles without work or qualifications who are convinced that leaving for England is the only way they can get rich. They are modest: opening a small bar at Victoria bus station will do for a start. Plans for a classy restaurant in London and a factory producing pharmaceutical packaging in Poland can wait until their first business is a success. However, after arriving in London, it becomes clear that they have been conned by a labour agent and opportunities for decent work without English are as rare as friends willing to take them in. This zippy film, shot in a direct cinema style, documents the phenomenon of East European labour migration and its pitfalls.

Ae Fond Kiss...

Director: Ken Loach, United Kingdom 2004, 104 min.

In Glasgow, Scotland, the Pakistani parents of Casim Khan have decided that he is going to marry his cousin Jasmine. Unfortunately, Casim has just fallen in love with his younger sister's music teacher Roisin. Not only is she 'goree', a white woman, she is also Irish and catholic, things that may not go down well with Casim's parents. They start a relationship but Casim is torn between following his heart and being a good son.

After Refuge

Director: Claire Pope, United Kingdom 2004, 4 min.

After Refuge explores the effects of immigration on cultural identity. Pari, a young refugee from Afghanistan, recounts her experience of fleeing her home country and settling in Britain; trying to find her new identity without losing her roots.

All White in Barking

Director: Marc Isaacs, United Kingdom 2007, 73 min.

The inhabitants of the London suburb of Barking are having trouble accepting the influx of ten thousand immigrants from around the world. Long–time local residents Susan and Jeff don't even greet their Nigerian neighbours, because they are "not like them". Dave has become a British National Party activist fighting for a white Barking, even though both of his daughters are in relationships with just the kind of people he rants against. By contrast, Jewish Holocaust survivor and boutique owner Monty has an unusual relationship with Betty, a black nurse. Using unexpected humour, All White in Barking allows the long–term residents and their new, culturally different neighbours to air their views. Director Marc Isaacs refrains from being judgemental, but instead attempts to understand the logic of a fast–transforming community and the sometimes grotesque overcoming of the psychological barriers between cultures. The residents' words inadvertently reveal a xenophobic outlook rooted in ignorance and a sense of being threatened.

Almost Adult

Director:Yousaf Ali Khan, United Kingdom 2006, 75 min.

The film tells the story of two teenage girls who come from different countries and speak different languages but still become each other's family. The two girls meet at a bus station in Birmingham after arriving in the UK as unaccompanied minors in search of asylum. Mamie, the elder of the two, takes Shiku under her wing. In doing so, she resolves to be the younger girl's big sister. The girls try to adjust to their new lives. Many things seem strange and alarming to them. Shiku in particular is having real difficulty fitting in with her new family. She is suffering from the after affects of the loss of her family back home and the traumatic things that happened to her on her journey to the UK. No one can properly understand what she has been through. No one but Mamie.

Anita & Me

Director: Metin Hüseyin, United Kingdom 2002, 92 min.

Based on Meera Syal's autobiographical novel, Anita & Me centres on the bright 12-year-old Meena growing up with her Punjabi parents in a small town in the Midlands in 1972. She has two immediate ambitions - to have her romantic fiction published in the girls' magazine Jackie and to become a member of 'the wenches', a girl gang led by the aggressive, loose-living blonde British neighbour, Anita. She achieves both, though the relationship with Anita is poorly handled, especially the breach between them caused by a spot of 'Paki-bashing' initiated by Anita's boyfriend.

Asylum

Director: Nigel Roffe-Barker, United Kingdom 2002, 97 min.

Asylum focuses on three young Kurdish refugees fleeing political persecution by smuggling themselves into England. Their future threatened as their genuine claims become buried in red tape, they seek refuge in a church. Despite their Muslim faith, a Catholic priest, Father Michael, feels bound to champion their cause. As the situation becomes the focus of escalating media and police attention, not only does the dramatic conclusion demonstrate the limits of human compassion but also the indirect cruelties of the entire system.

Beautiful People

Director: Jasmin Dizdar, United Kingdom 1999, 107 min.

In London, during October 1993, England is playing Holland in the preliminaries of the World Cup. The Bosnian War is at its height, and refugees from the ex-Yugoslavia are arriving. Football rivals, and political adversaries from the Balkans all precipitate conflict and amusing situations. Meanwhile, the lives of four English families are affected in different ways by encounter with the refugees; one of the families improbably becomes involved with a Balkan refugee through the England vs. Holland match.

Bend it like Beckham 

Director: Gurinder Chadha, United Kingdom, 113 min.

Like most everyone else in England, Jess Bahmra idolises professional British football player David Beckham. Also, she's a talented player in her own right. Unfortunately, her traditional Indian parents have other plans for their youngest daughter. They expect Jess to follow in the footsteps of her sister, who is preparing to marry in a traditional Indian wedding. When Jess meets Jules, who plays for a local female football team, she pursues her own dream and begins to play, keeping her participation a secret from her parents and often leading to disastrous results. To complicate matters even more, both Jess and Jules are enamored with their coach, Joe. Ultimately, Jess has to decide whether to live life on her terms or act in accordance with her parents' wishes. This charming coming-of-age tale is also an intriguing look at Indian culture in England.

Black Mark

Director: Martina Nagel, United Kingdom 2003, 5 min.

When Hassan an asylum seeker gets stopped for speeding, his is wrongly suspected of being a terrorist by an over enthusuastuc "bobby" on the beat. Hassan knows that any black mark against him and he and his family will be deported, so he has to come up with a plan...fast!

Brick Lane

Director:Sarah Gavron, United Kingdom 2006, 101 min.

The films tells the story of a beautiful young Bangladeshi woman who arrives in 1980s London, leaving behind her beloved sister and home, for an arranged marriage and a new life. Nazneen's mother always told her she was a survivor, but trapped within the four walls of her flat in East London, and in a loveless marriage with the middle aged Chanu, she fears her soul is quietly dying. Her sister, meanwhile, continues to live a carefree life back in Bangladesh, stumbling from one adventure to the next. Nazneen struggles to accept her lot, and keeps her head down in spite of life's blows. But she soon discovers that life cannot be avoided - and is forced to confront it the day that the hotheaded young Karim comes knocking at her door.

Burning an Illusion

Director: Menelik Shabazz, United Kingdom 1981, 101 min.

Pat, an ordinary working-class London girl, has a caring family, a job she enjoys and her own flat. Like all drama, the film is about characters facing conflicts. But unlike most dramas about black people up till then, for most of the story it dramatises personal conflicts, not socio-economic or political ones. Pat's goal is to settle down. The most radical thing about Burning An Illusion is that it's about black people who aren't radical. It's about a male-female relationship. (screenonline.com/uk)

Dirty Pretty Things

Director: Stephen Frears, United Kingdom 2001, tbc

Dirty Pretty Things is an urban thriller in which an African night porter enlists the help of a prostitute, a chambermaid and a mortuary technician to solve a bizarre murder. Set in a world of asylum seekers that lies behind the familiar urban metropolis. It is a tale of two cities, both of them in London. Dirty Pretty Things explores a Dickensian landscape of rag trade sweat shops, hotel kitchens and mini-cab venues in a London that most Londoners never see.

East is East

Director: Damian O'Donnell, United Kingdom 1999, 96 min.

This scene is a fitting introduction to the world according to East is East. Set during the early 1970s, the film tells the story of the Khan family, a group of people situated in a social limbo resulting from a biracial and interfaith marriage. George  is a Pakistani immigrant while Ella is a native Anglo. Their children (seven all told) are subsequently torn between the strict Islamic dictates of their father and the modern realities and attractions of English life, such as discos, mini-skirts, and hi-fi.

Internal

Director: Michael Williams, United Kingdom 2006, 16 min.

An immigrant taxi driver reluctantly takes his female passenger through a number of unplanned stop-offs during a long night-time journey. Various revelations along the way gradually reveal that each struggles with a different side of the same issue. The final location at dawn leaves the two characters changed forever.

In this world

Director: Michael Winterbottom, United Kingdom 2002, 89 min.

This compelling film follows refugees Jamal and Enayatullah as they travel overland to London, passing through Iran, Turkey, Italy and France. Their fictitious journey is a distillation of the experiences of a multitude of real life asylum seekers and migrants - courageous and resourceful people seeking a better life but whose stories so often end in tragedy.

Journey Man

Director: Dictynna Hood, United Kingdom 2002, 14 min. Mohamed Ali is a young African refugee who arrives as a stowaway in a rundown Welsh town. It's Christmas. He is starving, lost. Finally he seeks shelter in a pub. He is thrown out by the landlord but unexpectedly touches the heart of Connie, the landlord's wife. Our short film is an unusual and heartwarming fairytale that reaches beyond its topical subject matter. Whilst entirely fictional, the story is inspired by the real story of a recent asylum seeker to Britain.

Last resort

Director: Paul Pawlikowski, United Kingdom 2000, 75 min.

Last Resort is a moving love story which deals with the controversial issue of asylum seekers. Tanya, young and naîve, leaves Moscow with her street-wise 10-year-old son Artiom, to meet her English fiancé. But after he fails to turn up at the airport, Tanya and her son find themselves virtually imprisoned in a deserted seaside resort where all refugees are forced to live. They have no passports, no money, no rights. "Paul Pawlikowski was given free rein to select the subject matter and devise the drama. He used improvisation, documentary methods and a documentary-sized crew. The end result is high-quality, low-cost film-making that has a power and individuality rarely found in more conventional drama," says producer Ruth Caleb.

Moving to Mars

Director: Mat Whitecross, United Kingdom 2008, 90 min.

Moving to Mars charts the epic journey made by two Burmese families from a vast refugee camp on the Thai/Burma border to their new homes in the UK. At times hilarious, at times emotional, their travels provide a fascinating and unique insight not only into the effects of migration, but also into one of the most important current political crises – Burma. Non People Director: Elena Karathanasi, United Kingdom 2004, 22 min. Maryam enters the UK illegally and claims asylum. She seeks things that we take for granted, such as food, shelter and safety, basic needs and human rights.

My Beautifaul Laundrette

Director: Stephen Frears, United Kingdom 1985, 97 min.

My Beautiful Laundrette is set within the Asian community in London, during the Thatcher years, and displays those values, of money but 'anybody can make it.' Omar gains the running of his Uncle Nasser's laundrette. He is helped by his friend Johnny who is an outsider, white but not entirely accepted by either the white or Asian Londoners. There are many memorable characters: Tania, Omar's cousin whom he might marry. Salim the manager of Nasser's garage and sometime drug importer. Rachel, Nasser's white mistress, who like Johnny seems to be another outsider. The interaction of these people gives a comic insight into their world and makes a very refreshing film.

My Son the Fanatic

Director: Udayan Prasad, United Kingdom 1997, 87 min.

The gentle friendship between Parvez, a pathetic Pakistani taxi driver and Bettina, a young prostitute gradually develops into a deeper and more passionate relationship as Parvez's home life gradually crumbles. This is due to his son's, Fravid, gradual rejection of Western institutions and values and acceptance of Islamic Fundamentalism. More pressure is brought to bear by a German business man Schitz who makes continual use of both Parvez and Bettina in their professional capacities culminating in his demand for them to organize an orgy to impress some local business colleagues. Everything comes to a head when Farvid and his group decide to rid the town of its corrupting influence and attack the local prostitutes trapping Parvez in the middle forcing him to decide just where his loyalties lie.

Outlanders

Director: Dominic Lees, United Kingdom 2006, 98 min.

Adam leaves his hometown in Poland and hitches to London to find his long-lost brother and build a new life. The city is cold and dangerous but it’s a magnet for migrants from all over Europe who have come to make their fortune. Adam meets a beautiful Russian girl, Anna, who works illegally to support her family back home. Adam finds his big brother, Jan, who works supplying illegal foreign labour to construction sites.  Jan has everything – wealth, status and women. Adam is drawn into the glamorous life but is soon dragged down into the corruption at the heart of Jan’s world.

Rings of Fire

Director: Gwen Ong, United Kingdom 2007, 21 min.

A Cameroonian asylum seeker detained by the UK Home Office for imminent deportation is released and granted a three year stay in Northern Ireland as a result of a campaign that gained widespread support from the Northern Irish public and politicians like Martin McGuinness. Sanctuary Director: Lovejit K Dhaliwal, United Kingdom 2008, 3 min. Sanctuary is the true story of one woman, Marjorie, who tries to seek asylum in the UK. Speaking of her experiences in her own words, this film illustrates the journey she goes through - her inward journey as she confronts the affects of her torture and her outward journey as she struggles for asylum.

Second Generation

Director: Shane O’Sullivan, United Kingdom 2000. 82mins.

In the film, O'Sullivan aims to capture the spirit of Brick Lane's multicultural neighbourhood, with its mix of neon-lit curry houses, mosques, derelict buildings and struggling artists in cheap accommodation. The story throws together a diverse group of young Asian characters in London. Shot on location in east London with the support of the area's Bangladeshi community. Indian actor Saeed Jaffrey, cast in a cameo role, caused ripples of excitement among Brick Lane locals and was mobbed in a halal fried chicken shop. The film had two successful screenings at Cannes this year and has been selected for the Uplink Festival in Tokyo in August.

Seeker

Directors: Omelihu Nwanguma, Adam Hutchings,United Kingdom 2004, 10 min.

An immigrant resorts to desperate measures while living in London, in a bid to convince his family back home that he is living the rich life they expect of him. Through you eyes Director: Melina Henderson, United Kingdom 2005, 14 min. Through Our Eyes shows what it is like coming to Britain through the eyes of unaccompanied minors. We wanted to change the negative perception about asylum seekers by charting the obstacles we have faced and showing how, despite the difficulties, we have turned a negative experience into a positive one.

The Blue

Tower Director: Smita Bhide, United Kingdom 2008, 85 min.

Mohan dreams of escape: from his unhappy marriage, his overbearing family, his unexciting prospects. He finds it by falling into an affair with the pretty young nurse looking after his cantankerous bed-ridden Auntie Kamla. At first the relationships feels like the answer to his prayers, but there are secrets to come out and before long he's on a road to disaster, his every step dogged by the looming menace of the Blue Tower waiting for him round every corner. t's not a 'corner-shop comedy' or a Bollywood pastiche but something new in British-Asian cinema, a full-blooded story of illicit passion and desperate hope which presents a unique and cinematic portrait of multicultural Britain.

Through your eyes

Director: Melina Henderson, United Kingdom 2005, 14 min.

Through Our Eyes shows what it is like coming to Britain through the eyes of unaccompanied minors. We wanted to change the negative perception about asylum seekers by charting the obstacles we have faced and showing how, despite the difficulties, we have turned a negative experience into a positive one

True North

Director: Steve Hudson, United Kingdom 2006, 96 min.

A trawler and its crew struggle to make ends meet as fish stocks dwindle. Desperate to maintain a livelihood that has existed in the family for generations, the Skipper's son, Sean decides to take on a secret cargo of Chinese immigrants. The trip back to Scotland becomes a nightmare as the stowaways endure hell in the hold. The Skipper, apparently unaware of his cargo, keeps the boat at sea chasing the big catch that will save his boat.  Written and directed by first time feature director Steve Hudson, with a powerful ensemble cast, this is a compelling and harrowing story of desperation and its tragic consequences.

Young Soul Rebels

Director: Isaac Julien, United Kingdom 1991, 105 min.

1977: Queen's Silver Jubilee year. Two London soul-boys want their pirate radio station to reach a wider public; but Chris is distracted both by the big-time lure of the mainstream 'Metro' station and by Tracy, while Caz reacts to what he sees as his old friend's betrayal by taking up with gay socialist-worker punk Billibud. Worse, the cops suspect Chris of murdering one of Caz's gay friends in the park. Julien's brave, ambitious first feature makes all the right noises in terms of its sensitive treatment of thorny problems like racism and homophobia, and is largely successful in recreating various alternative cultural realities to the jingoistic claptrap which stands as the 'official' history of Britain during the summer of '77. Sadly, despite a strong soul soundtrack and fine camerawork, the film suffers from weak performances and an undernourished script that never frames its ideas within a gripping narrative.


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