Ghosts (2007)



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Movie Info

Longtime documentary director Nick Broomfield (Kurt & Courtney, Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer) eschews the format with which filmgoers generally associate him to tell this affecting tale of Chinese émigrés looking to earn a healthy, albeit illegal, living in the U.K. Ai Qin is a desperate mother from Fujian who is willing to pay the Snakehead gang 25,000 dollars to smuggle her into the U.K. Once there, Ai Qin plans to send the majority of the money back to China order to support her son and family. But life in the U.K. isn't easy, even for the hardest-working Chinese immigrant. Not only does Ai Qin live with 15 other immigrants in a suburban, two-bedroom house, but with three million other migrant workers forming the foundation of the United Kingdom's hospitality, food supply, and construction industries, the search for better-paying jobs that will help them pay back their sizeable debts are never-ending. In keeping with Broomfield's decidedly real-world approach to filmmaking and in order to maintain authenticity, the director cast an actual former migrant worker, Ai Qin Lin, who had once been illegally smuggled into the U.K. (and has since gained legal citizenship) in the lead role. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Ai Qin Lin
as Ai Qin
Zhan Yu
as Mr. Lin
Zhe Wei
as Xiao Li
Tao Li
as Chinese Cockle Picker
An Sheng Lin
as Baby Bebe
Kan Jin Chen
as Ai Qin's Mother
Shiang Fa Lin
as Ai Qin's Father
Qin Rong Lin
as Ai Qin's Brother
Ping Chen
as Snakehead in China, Snakehead in UK
Marc Hoeferlin
as People Smuggler in Calais
Dave Bryan
as People Smuggler in Calais
Jiannan Tian
as Smuggled Chinese Immigrant
Xiang Yang Li
as Smuggled Chinese Immigrant
Shu Ping Wang
as Snakehead in UK
Li Qing Yang
as Snakehead in UK
Raquel Marques
as Employment Agency Assistant
Grace Costa
as Employment Agency Assistant
Lorraine Day
as Angry Woman in Agency
Paul Wadsworth
as Angry Neighbour
Kay Briar Fox
as Angry Neighbour's Wife
Ruby Wood
as Girl in Duck Factory
Paul Ovenden
as Employment Agency Manager
Lana Westfold
as Farm Minibus Driver
Roger Gray
as Police Officer
Graham Harris
as Police Officer
Paul Plausin
as Police Officer
Rhys Bond
as Police Officer
Paul Andrew Richardson
as British Cockle-Picker
Terry Sergeant
as British Cockle-Picker
Vikki McDonald
as British Cockle-Picker
Colin Brown
as British Cockle-Picker
Andrew Dodd
as British Cockle-Picker
Dafydd Hughes
as British Cockle-Picker
Stewart Jones
as British Cockle-Picker
Darren Kasselves
as British Cockle-Picker
Mark Thomas
as British Cockle-Picker
Michael Whitehead
as British Cockle-Picker
Sean Lin
as Ai Qin's Son
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Critic Reviews for Ghosts

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (4)

Worth seeing, not just for its message, but also for the intriguing way it uses documentary tools to tell a true story.

Nov 24, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Veteran documentary filmmaker Nick Broomfield makes an impressive leap to features with Ghosts.

Jan 27, 2007

A valuably tactless, steady, clear-eyed look at the tragedy and cruelty of the new globalised serfdom.

Jan 12, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

It has its weak points as drama - some stilted acting, especially - but when the topic itself is so in need of exposure, much can be forgiven in favour of the film's social and political importance. And important it certainly is.

Jan 12, 2007 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

The fields and farmlands are in the prettiest countryside, cellphones provide a connection home, and the support and camaraderie the immigrants share makes it all bearable.

Aug 7, 2018 | Full Review…

Extremely compelling.

Oct 18, 2008 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Ghosts


Nick Broomfield's documentary experience allowed this film and it's portrayal of the events of the deaths of Chinese Imigrant workers at Morecambe Bay, England. The film takes you through the illegal imigration process up until the night of the tragic deaths. The film is not only very realistic, but it's cast is mainly made up of people who have been in similar situations, which certainly adds to the authentic feel. In addition on the special features, you will find a very interesting 'Making of' section.

Lady D'arbanville
Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer


An interesting insight into the story behind the death of Chinese cockle pickers caught up in the perilous tide of Morecambe Bay and the life of illegal immigrants working in Britain.

Ross Collins
Ross Collins

Super Reviewer

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