Ghosts / Ghosts

country, yearghosts 3

Great Britain, 2006



running time


directed by

Nick Broomfield


English, Chinese




The film is based on a true story. It is disturbing portrayal of a secret world that is all around us.
Ai Qin, a young Chinese girl from Fujian, China, borrows $25,000 to pay Snakeheads to smuggle her into the UK illegally so she can support her son and family back in China. Once in the UK she becomes another one of 3 million migrant workers that are the bedrock of its food supply chain, construction and hospitality industries. She lives with eleven other Chinese in a two-bedroom suburban house. With illegally forged work permits, they work in factories preparing food for British supermarkets. In their search for better paying jobs to repay their debts they end up cockling in Morecambe Bay at night. On February 5th 2004 twenty three Chinese drowned in Morecambe, their families in China are still paying off their debts.
Ai Qin and the other principal characters are played by Chinese former undocumented immigrants who have drawn on their life experiences to give passionate and authentic performances. The director, Nick Broomfield, has stepped out of his documentarian role, to create a grippingly compelling film that will change your views on the entire migrant population. And have you wondering about slavery in the 21st century.

about the author

Nick Broomfield studied Law at Cardiff, and Political Science at Essex University. He then went on to study Film at the National Film School, under Professor Colin Young. He made his first film Who Cares about Slum Clearance in Liverpool, while at University, by borrowing a wind up Bolex camera, and shooting it on short ends. Together with Joan Churchill made several films, Juvenile Liaison, Tattooed Tears, Soldier Girls, Lily Tomlin and more recently Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer. He then orientated to investigative and experimental type of filmmaking – The Leader the Driver, Aileen Wurnos, Kurt and Courtney, Biggie and Tupac. Nick Broomfield is the recipient of the following awards amongst others: Sundance first prize, British Academy Award, Prix Italia, Dupont Peabody Award, Grierson Award, Hague Peace Prize, Amnesty International Doen Award.

festivals, awards

San Sebastián International Film Festival 2006 (Solidarity Award), Sundance Film Festival (2007)