Ghosts (2006)

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A young Chinese girl is smuggled into the UK so she can support her son and family in China.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Zhan Yu ...
Mr. Lin
Tao Li ...
Chinese Cockle-Picker
Ai Qin Lin ...
Ai Qin
Zhe Wei ...
Xiao Li
Yong Aing Zhai ...
Zhai (as Wen Buo Zhai)
An Sheng Lin ...
Baby Bebe
Kan Jin Chen ...
Ai Qin's Mother
Shiang Fa Lin ...
Ai Qin's Father
Qin Rong Lin ...
Ai Qin's Brother
Ping Chen ...
Snakehead in China / UK
Marc Hoeferlin ...
People Smuggler in Calais
David Bryan ...
People Smuggler in Calais (as Dave Bryan)
Jiannan Tian ...
Smuggled Chinese Immigrant
Xiang Li ...
Smuggled Chinese Immigrant
Shu Ping Wang ...
Snakehead in UK


A young girl, Ai Qin, pays $25,000 to be smuggled into the UK in order to support her family back in China. She is forced to live with eleven other Chinese in a small house in Thetford, Norfolk, working in factories and fields preparing food. The film was inspired by the Morecambe Bay tragedy of 2004, when a gang of Chinese cockle-pickers found themselves trapped tide coming in. Written by Michelet Carsrud

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Morecambe Bay, February 5th 2004, 23 lives, 23 souls


Adventure | Drama


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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

12 January 2007 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Fantasmas  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Had no scripted dialog. See more »


Referenced in Shooting 'Ghosts' (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

1 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The title of Nick Broomfield's new film is deliberately ambiguous; ghosts being the disparaging term the Chinese use to describe white westerners and (possibly) a reference to the invisibility of poorly paid, unprotected non-British workers who work in slave conditions in the food industry.

Three years ago such workers made the news, briefly, when 23 illegal Chinese immigrants drowned in Morecambe Bay while digging for cockles late one evening. As the waters rose around them, they rang their families to say goodbye, unaware they'd have been better off ringing 999.

Their deaths inspired the notorious Broomfield to make a film in which he re-enacts the events leading up to the disaster. In this he is assisted by a cast of amateurs, many of whom are themselves illegal immigrants, and the film's star Ai Qi Lin, a non-professional, whom we follow through various low-skilled jobs in the food industry in a bid to pay back the $25,000 she borrowed from 'Snakeheads' to smuggle her into the country.

There are times when she must wonder why she bothered, forced as she is to live in a two-bedroom house with 11 other Chinese immigrants, all of whom are sworn at and spat on by their neighbours. The landlord is no better: he overcharges them.

And yet, for all that., despite the horrific ending, Ghosts isn't entirely bereft of hope. After all, if nothing else, its impact is such that it should force us all to question our own appetite for cheap food and embarrass supermarkets into altering the way their products are produced.

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