Lexi Cinema: Hostile documentary 'shows effect of Theresa May policy'

Anthony Bryan, a participant in the film

Anthony Bryan, a participant in the film - Credit: Galeforce Films

An award-winning documentary on migrant communities is set to screen at the Lexi Cinema.

Longlisted for three BIFA Awards 2021, “Hostile” explores how the lives of international students, members of the Windrush generation highly-skilled migrants have been affected by the governments’s "hostile environment" policy. The policy, according to the movie’s director, goes “against the brilliant multiculturalism of this country.”

“Hostile environment” is a policy that has been used by the UK government since Theresa May announced a policy strategy in 2012 aimed at combatting “illegal immigration'” by making life so unbearable for undocumented migrants that they would voluntarily choose to leave.

Director Sonita Gale said: “Hostile is a call to action. Britain has reached a crisis point in regards to the way it is treating migrants. 

“With the nationality and borders bill and the points based immigration system coming into effect, the film asks: who will the hostile environment target next?

“Our responsibility as filmmakers is to use language to expose their actions, and encourage people to take back control.”

Hostile premiered at Raindance begins a nationwide tour with Picturehouse from January 21, alongside screenings at independent cinemas including Lexi Cinema, Bertha DocHouse and MAC Birmingham. 

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The film was described by critic Redmond Bacon as “a heartfelt and bitter exploration of policies that are downright evil.”

Bacon said: “The saddest part about Hostile is how little it shocks. The UK’s immigration policy — turning sour ever since Enoch Powell - has been deliberately designed to make people who come to this country feel like they don’t belong.”

The director’s aim is to screen the documentary in Parliament.

“Politicians are experts in shaping attitudes in a way that encourages apathy, allowing them to get away with enacting policies that are often against the interests of voters,” she said.

“Changing these attitudes won't happen overnight.”

“The way we feel we can overcome that, is to begin at a grassroots level, building our audience in communities across the countries through the screenings. 

“I want to reach audiences that might not otherwise watch a film like this - from policy makers to local communities.”

The Home Office has responded to say it is committed to a ‘fair but firm’ immigration policy.

A spokesman added: “The system which permits access to work, benefits and services only to those lawfully present in the UK and with the right to access them.

“The public expects us to enforce immigration laws approved by Parliament as a matter of fairness to those who abide by the rules and to protect tax-payer funded services.”

Ticket for the movie on February 8 can be booked here https://thelexicinema.co.uk/whats-on/hostile-qa/

Trailer: bit.ly/hostiledoc-trailer