Saturday, January 06, 2007

Ghosts, a movie by Nick Broomfield

"Immigration is a very emotional thing," Broomfield explains. "It's about people leaving something they love and know, and coming to a very strange place."

My immigration into Belgie was accidental ... I met Gert while out in Istanbul teaching and the rest became an irritating history as I dealt with the associated paperwork.

So many don't have the luxury of choice that I had and become prey for so-called legitimate and illegitimate business people in the lands they find themselves in ... think of the horrendous act of sex-trafficking Eastern European women into countries like Belgium, Germany, Holland, Italy and ecetera ... think of the 23 dead Chinese immigrants who imagined themselves making a better life in England.

It seems that Nick Broomfield has been thinking about it and put together Ghost's, his first feature film . The topic is the 2004 tragedy of Morecambe Bay and he does the unusual, hiring non-actors and hiring a woman who survived the tragedy, as lead actress.

The Morecambe Bay tragedy ... that would be when 23 illegal Chinese immigrants drowned while picking cockles on the sands.

The Broomfield movie follows a young single mother from a Fujian province who despairs of ever providing a better life for her baby son, and so borrows a vast sum to be smuggled to England, only to find herself little more than a slave.

What should shock us is those who take advantage of illegal immigrants. We're told, Jobs might last a few days or weeks or months, but they were all atrociously paid.

"The bosses didn't ever look at my documents. They knew I was illegal, and they always used my status against me. One of the factories actually told me directly, if you have status you get paid £3.50, if not £2.50."

Where's there's demand, there will always be supply ...


Rob said...

Its depressing but I've actually seen this in Australia too, the Korean charter boat I used to be Master on had galley staff that were basically slaves as the money they earnt was so menial.

woman wandering said...

Horrible isn't it ... and we so rarely read of the wrongs perpetrated on those people seeking a better life ... all that seems to get publicity is the hysterical ranting of those extreme right types.

Dobermann said...

Even though I am studying business, I still find myself interested in immigration issues. Funnye enough I did well in EU law and part about immigration and free movement within EU.

I still think that most of the bureaucracy is stupid and that making of the laws and regulations is so hard. But:
I think that even though things might be better "in here" than "there", they are not as well as one might think. I have talked with few immigrants from 3rd world and many of them said that if they had known before how hard the "getting legal" and integration to the society were, they would have thought twice or three times. This was interesting and bit surprising to hear.

Even though we might not be thrilled about the refugees and immigrants, they are still people and should be respected and treated as human beings and not some scum. I mean, they are not axactly coming here solely to exploit the system.

I still do think that many of the EU immigration laws are good, but the way they are enforced and all the paper-work etc. needs to be rationalized. I think this more as an economic issue. In the end, it is like investment for government to put money in education, language courses and integration because it motivates the immigrants to become productive part of the society.

Uh, I was rambling a bit there and got bit excited again. But this is interesting and important topic..

woman wandering said...

I get so heated about immigration, doberman ... I put off replying until I could think. Lol clearly that never happened.

Your study sounds hellishly interesting just btw.

I'm sure many many immigrants wouldn't move if they had a taste of the life they are moving too. Coming from New Zealand, via Istanbul ... I found those two countries far more pleasant in terms of documentation ... Belgium has been a bit of a nightmare, as you know.

One of the problems I have about this life is seeing that someone Moroccan will probably always be referred to as an immigrant, no matter how many generations he or she has lived in Belgium.

Interesting and important topic and no, you weren't rambling. Sorry to take so long to get back to you on this one ... I just get so frustrated.