Sometimes we tend to forget what a privileged life we have. We might want a bigger house, more money or a better income but actually, we have it all: a steady job, a roof above our heads and food on the table.
Things we take for granted more than we should. With his “The Flood”, director Anthony Woodley (“The Carrier”, “Outpost 11”) shows us in an emotionally overwhelming way that not everyone is as lucky as we are.
Especially refugees who want to cross the border in the hope for a better life risking the life they already have…
Whether it’s by ferry, in a lorry or in a small boat, refugees are trying everything to flee their country. For political, economic or personal reasons.
Sadly, most of them get caught or don’t survive the trip and even when they arrive in a better country, getting asylum to stay there is almost impossible.
For Haile (Ivanno Jeremiah) it seems even more out of reach as he’s seen as a dangerous man after attacking two police officers when he was captured trying to get to the UK.
His faith lays now in the hands of the hardened and dedicated immigration officer Wendy (Lena Headey) who’s facing her own family problems. Problems that could cloud her judgment.
However, as touch as she’s trying to be, emotions are running high when Haile is telling her about his mother abandoning him, his former job as a soldier and his inhuman time at the Calais Jungle.
It’s also about people taking advantage of the poorest on earth with a dream they would do anything for, living between fear and hope and making new friends in incredibly desperate times.
Will Wendy put her emotions asides and refuse Haile asylum because of his dangerous acts or will the emotions take the upper hand and will she make a more human decision?
The stories of Haile and the people he meets are based on multiple true stories but sadly those stories are just a tip of the iceberg. Something that director Anthony Woodley, writer Helen Kingston, and producer Luke Healy saw for themselves when they visited the Calais jungle to volunteer and to witness at first hand what was going on there.
By doing that, “The Flood” becomes a thoughtful, honest and real-life film that makes you think about your own life as well about the humanity within the refugee crisis.
While “The Flood” is based on true stories, it’s not being classified as a documentary. That might be the only downside to this film. The emotional and social impact would have been greater if they were told in a documentary way. Less editing, less polished and maybe with a steady-cam or two to make it really look like real-life events.
However, despite the fact that the emotions could have been increased because of the possible documentary style, “The Flood” is still deeply emotional, touching and definitely shows the human feelings.
That’s being created by solid performances of the entire cast. While we meet Wendy for the first time, Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones”, “Fighting with My Family“) portrays her as the hardened, stubborn and professional immigration officer.
It seems that she has no compassion whatsoever but during the film, it’s clear that even Wendy as her own problems and then we see a more grieving, troubled and sensitive woman.
Heady’s chemistry with Ivanno Jeremiah (“London Unplugged”, “Bees Make Honey”) is undeniably impressive and so is the performance of Jeremiah himself.
From the first impression, it seems that Haile might indeed be the violent, sinister and brutal refugee but when hearing his stories, the impression could have been a totally wrong one.
Both the fierce as well as the more emotional Haile are being put on the big screen beautifully by Jeremiah.
In the more supporting roles we see Iain Glen (“Game of Thrones”, “Dusty and Me“), Mandip Gill (“Doctor Who (TV)”, “Love, Lies and Records”), who makes an impressive full-length film debut, and Peter Singh (“Blue Iguana”, “Johnny English Strikes Again”) who all give highly credible performances.
It’s not surprising that the film will be released on the 21st of June as it’s World Refugee Day the day before. On the 17th of June, there’s even a special event during which you can watch “The Flood” before anyone else.
With this film, director Anthony Woodley wanted to truthfully represent the life of a refugee and that’s exactly what he did. Together with his entire team, he made a touching, stunning and socially relevant film in which emotions run very high because of the mesmerizing performances from and the high-level chemistry between the entire cast.