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8 user 28 critic

True North (2006)

Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller | 14 September 2007 (UK)
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The crew of a bankrupt Scottish trawler turn to smuggling illegal immigrants over the stormy waters of the North Sea.

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7 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Riley
...
Sean
...
The Skipper
...
The Cook
Angel Li ...
Su Li
Hark Bohm ...
Pol
Li Jun Wang ...
Chinese Farmer
Ren Hao ...
Moon Face
Shi Ming ...
Snakehead
...
Henri
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tutu Babatunde ...
African girl
Anna Breuer ...
Svetlana
Maurice Byrne ...
Barman
Yvonne Costello ...
Barmaid
Ning Ning Gho ...
Immigrant
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Storyline

The skipper of the Scottish trawler PD-100 has worked for more than thirty-two years to buy his fishing vessel but is bankrupt and near to lose his ship to the bank. While in the port of Ostend, Belgium, his first mate and son Sean accepts a lot of money to smuggle Chinese illegal immigrants to Scotland to keep the trawler with his father. The crewman Riley helps him in the scheme, and they hide the group in a store below the boatswain store. However, a Chinese teenagers hides in the engine room, stealing food and leaving money in the galley. The cook, who is a little slow and has issues with sex, finds the stowaway and helps her. Sean decides to stay longer in the North Sea to get catch and avoid problems with customs, leaving the immigrants in the most subhuman conditions. When one of the Chinese dies, despair is triggered leading the crew to tragic actions. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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An unflinching thriller dealing with the horrendous consequences of human trafficking.

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Drama | Thriller

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Not Rated | See all certifications »
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14 September 2007 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A la deriva  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Carlyle was originally cast in the role of Riley. Shortly after shooting began, Carlyle's father, Joseph, passed away, and grief-stricken, the actor resigned from the film. See more »

Soundtracks

Tarzan Boy
Written by Maurizio Bassi
Performed by Baltimora
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User Reviews

 
Unflinching
31 May 2010 | by See all my reviews

Beautifully shot and scripted, this gripping human drama is one of the best British films I've seen in recent years.

Two of a four-man crew on a Scottish fishing trawler on the verge of bankruptcy decide to traffic a group of Chinese immigrants in their hold; the young first mate (Martin Compston) keeps this highly illegal transaction secret from his proud father and boat's captain (Gary Lewis), but hopes it should go a long way to balancing the books. Meanwhile the dodgy crew member (Peter Mullan), who persuaded him to do the deed in the first place, gradually starts to develop a conscience as he witnesses the worsening degradation of the people slowly dying in the bowels of their vessel. Meanwhile sexually confused cook (Steven Robertson) helps the young pre-teen girl (Angel Li, on her debut) who is driven by desperation to steal out of the fetid, watery hold to his galley.

The five principals are utterly compelling throughout, making the unflinching honesty of the story as it moves towards its inexorable destination so completely believable. On one level it is the kind of human suffering as old as mankind itself, while also reflecting the consequences as the pitiless expansion of modern global capitalism continues unchecked.

Despite being a) Scottish and b) a bit of a buff for independent film, I had never even heard of this film when my 17-year old son & I came across it by accident on BBC late one night. It is a superb piece of work from all concerned and a genuinely moving experience. I can only assume the lack of big studio, big names and big budget (along with a quite forgettable, unhelpful title) conspired to ensure this memorable film didn't get a wider audience or praise. A great shame, but seek it out - you won't be disappointed.


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