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Flood, The


Stars: Lena Headey, Ivanno Jeremiah, Iain Glen, Mandip Gill, Arsher Ali, Rebecca Johnson, Jack Gordon

Director: Anthony Woodley

Despite the (misleading) title - and an equally misleading poster - this is not a disaster movie, at least of the conventional kind. No, the title refers to the flood of immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa making a dangerous and desperate journey towards the UK.

The story of one such, mainly told in flashback, focuses on Haile (Jeremiah), a refugee from Eritrea, who survives a perilous (sinking) boat trip across the Med; he swims to Italy and ends up in the 'jungle', the notorious asylum-seekers' camp in Calais.

There's little suspense in this flashback story since we know how it ends, although admittedly there'a a little twist to unravel. Captured and taken to the Border and Asylum unit, Haile is interviewed by immigration officer Wendy (Headey), who has problems of her own: she is separated from her husband who has custody of their young daughter, a backstory that's only superficially covered.

In her emotional turmoil she finds herself relating to Haile - two examples of Stockholm Syndrome in one week is really too much - in spite of his refusal to reveal the whole truth of his capture, in which he flew at a police officer with a knife, and seems to have no case for asylum acceptance.

Grim, harrowing and slow, the film - thanks to the efforts of Game of Thrones escapees Headey, Jeremiah and Glen - does have some climactic developments more worthy of our attention, although the same shots of faces, repeated over and again, may cause some to nod off before the threads of the narrative come together.

There is no copyright date on the credits of this film.

David Quinlan

UK 2019. UK Distributor: Curzon Artificial Eye. Colour (unspecified).
99 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 16 Jun 2019