Friday, August 01, 2008

It's a Free World

To set the scene for It's a Free World we had an almost wordless NZ short (Cargo) shot in Eastern Europe about people trafficking.

The two things that stick in my mind from It's a Free World are the mesmerizing performance by Kierston Wareing as Angie, the sexy blonde energizer bunny (OK, a male point of view) who always has a come-back ("You know wot I mean?") and the layers of exploitation at the bottom end of the labour market.

We meet Angie on a trip to Poland working for a company recruiting Poles to come and work in the UK. Back in London she is laid off, and tired of being messed with she decides to start her own recruitment company with her more reluctant flatmate, Rose. Fitted out with a leather jacket and a big motorbike she specialises in casual (day labour) jobs for foreign workers. This allows the ultimate employer to get rid of workers on whim. The temptations of the dodgier end of the market beckon both from compassion for a sad case and the money to be made from people who dare not fight back because they don't have a work permit or worse shouldn't be in the country at all.

Ken Loach has painted a picture of a system where top level companies exploit sub-contractors who exploit recruitment companies who in turn exploit those who are desperate enough to work for them (especially those who are in a country without the right to work there). Anyone who is ethical at any level have to compete with those who are prepared to be unethical. It is a depressing picture of system which no one person is capable of fighting back against. On the "positive" side is Angie who lets nothing get her down.

Ian's rating 3.5/5

No comments:

Post a Comment