Okwe is an illegal Nigerian immigrant leading a hard life and struggling to survive in London's underground. He works as a hotel receptionist in the night time and as he has a doctor degree he practices some medicine, during the day, in a very odd way. Besides that he must constantly escape from Immigration officers. One day Okwe discovers by chance an illegal scheme of surgeries is being lead by Juan, his boss in the hotel. Juan quickly comes up with a tempting proposal: if Okwe accepts to perform the illegal surgeries he makes a lot of money and gets legalized situation in the U.K. Can Okwe keep his moral values intact?Written by
A film about an emotive, controversial subject, but also with a touching romantic subplot that is poignant but never sentimental. Great performances from all the leads, particularly the moral opposites of Eijifor (Okwe) & Lopez (Sneaky). The photography was excellent depicting a sleazy London not normally seen in the likes of Curtisland.
The screenplay was excellent although I found the conclusion - with the tables turned on Sneaky- a little melodramatic & one had to suspend belief slightly. The film reverberates with many memorable pieces of dialogue.
The film is very much about personal journeys - Okwe, from trying to forget his past to confronting it; Senay - from innocent dreams of New York to disillusion & despair. Her growing closesness to the prostitute Juliet (Okwendo), whom she initially finds repugnant, represents how far her terrible journey has taken her. I liked the way Okwe is associated with the recurring motif of cleanliness: he washes glasses, sterilises medical equipment. It may seem minor, but it emphasises his virtuousness & integrity in a corrupt world/society where exploitation is rife on so many levels ('a virtuous man is dangerous' according to his friend, Gou Yi (Wong)).
For a film about 'organ' donors, it is also about the emotions (the heart) or rather the absence of them (Sneaky). Compassion is to be found in the most surprising of people: the prostitute Juliet.
A moving film about a deeply emotive subject yet one also laced with black humour, i.e. we are made aware of Okwe being a doctor when he is asked to check his colleagues' STD at the cab office. It is also a film which makes one feel guilty. You can feel more pity for a fictionalised portrait of asylum seekers than for the real people struggling for survival in this country.
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