In The Flood, Game of Thrones star Lena Headey plays a hardened and deeply troubled immigration officer who is entrusted with handling a sensitive asylum case. Directed by Anthony Woodley and executive produced by Headey herself, the film offers a frank account of the real human cost behind the refugee crisis in Europe.
When he is apprehended armed with a knife attempting to enter the UK illegally in the back of a truck, Eritrean refugee Haile (Ivanno Jeremiah) is arrested and treated as a terrorism risk. With increased media interest in Haile’s story, immigration chief Philip (played by Game of Thrones star Iain Glen) enlists the help of Wendy (Headey), one of his most efficient officers who is known for her swift and cold dealings with asylum applications.
Haile’s story is revealed in flashbacks as he is questioned by an increasingly irritated Wendy. Seemingly unmoved at first by a story she’s heard a million times before, Wendy is eventually won over by the asylum seeker’s amiable demeanour and increasingly plausible tale. From war-torn Eritrea to the hell of “Calais Jungle”, we follow step by step as Haile makes the 5000 kilometre journey in the hope of making a new life in the UK, away from the trauma of war.
Although a little contrived in places, The Flood still manages to tell a deeply moving story of one man’s struggle for a better life. Highlighting the mindless bureaucracy and the sometimes politically motivated dealings with asylum seekers, the film does its best to put a human face behind the often inflammatory headlines and anti-immigration sentiments from some corners of the national press.
Working closely with real life refugees, ex Home Office officials and whistleblowers, director Anthony Woodley and writer Helen Kingston have done a commendable job in mixing hard-hitting social realism with melodrama to tell a powerful and hugely relatable story of struggle and redemption.
Lena Headey gives another fine performances as a Wendy whom she offers as a deeply troubled individual who is suddenly forced to face to her own prejudice. Ivanno Jeremiah (Humans, Black Mirror) puts in a remarkable turn as the hugely likeable Haile, a man whose wide-eyed optimism can’t help but rub off on even the most desensitised people around him.
The Flood offers a timely and urgent reflection on the current refugee crisis. Masterfully acted, touching and brilliantly measured throughout. A must see.