Shown previously as part of the 2006 London Film Festival in October, there is a special screening of Nick Broomfield's new film Ghosts at 6.30pm tonight at the Renoir, prior to the film's general release this Friday.
Ghosts is Broomfield's second fictional film that draws on his strengths as a documentary maker but exerts a different and more intriguing power than a straightforward documentary. The film follows an impoverished Chinese mother who pays an enormous sum to be smuggled into the UK for work; she finds herself further and further in debt to her smugglers and employment agency despite holding down several illegal jobs simultaneously.
She is given the choice to take a job in either a London massage parlour or to join a few others in a similar situation in a cockle-picking job in Morecambe and she decides on the cockle picking . For anyone who followed the horrific events of February 2004, the ending is pretty much given away. The film is based on the stories of the 23 Chinese workers who lost their lives when the tide cut them off while picking cockles in Morecambe, and the journeys that led them to their deaths.
Broomfield, as a documentarist in blood and soul, created the film after extensive research including travel to the China province where many of the original cockle pickers came from and the cast are mainly non-actors who have similar migrant backgrounds. It's as raw and uncompromising as any of his documentaries and is a timely release to commemorate the lives that were lost in such desperate and desperately sad circumstances. Broomfield will be leading a question and answer session after the screening.
Ghosts plus Question and Answer session with Nick Broomfield at Renoir Cinema, 6.30pm tonight, £8.50. For more information and to book, go to the Curzon Cinemas website here.