When dreams die

Himalayan News Service


The second day of the British film festival witnessed the screening of the movie ‘Dirty Pretty Things’ on July 29 at Gopi Krishna Cinema Hall. A film that captures the dark side of London with its sweatshops and abuse of illegal immigrants, the film strikes the right chord with its universal theme of survival, love and almost bizarre poetic justice.

An urban thriller, the film’s protagonist is an African night porter who is an illegal immigrant fighting for survival by supplementing his income as a cab driver and serving men with sex in the sleazy areas of the city. When he discovers a human heart in one of the hotel rooms he is caught between his sense of injustice and his position as an illegal alien. He knows that the hotel is being used to remove human organs from such third world emigrants who are ready to give anything in return for papers and an opportunity for a better life. With the help of a prostitute, a mortuary technician and a chambermaid he investigates and enforces his own kind of justice.

The direction is strong and though unrequited romance is one of the themes the film draws the audience into the intrigue. We come to know that Pietter Okwe is a doctor framed for the murder of his wife in Libreville. He is offered legal papers and money to become a part of the ring and conduct the operations to remove organs but despite his helpless condition manages to turn the tables with his own sense of justice. ‘Dirty Pretty Things is a film about survival and human dignity. Used and abused sexually these immigrants strive to realise their dreams in a foreign country, and come out with their spirit intact. Today, the festival will screen ‘Anita and Me’, a comic, poignant movie about a 12-year-old whose parents moved to England to give her a better life. The film deals with her eccentric relatives in those growing years and Anita, a 14-year-old outrageous blonde who Meena thinks she wants to be.