Coming from director Anthony Woodley and Samuel Goldwyn Films is the story of immigration and the story of one man facing THE FLOOD.
Working as an immigration officer in the UK, Wendy (Lena Headey) is a tough officer who does her job thoroughly and swiftly with no emotion. That is quite a feat considering she is dealing with her own personal issues. Called into the office of boss Philip (Iain Glen), she is given the high-profile case of Haile (Ivanno Jeremiah), an immigrant accused of assaulting a police officer.
Beginning her interrogation of Haile, she asks questions as he answers. Through it he tells Wendy the story of his journey from the Calais Jungle to the interrogation room. Beginning with the reason he had to leave – because he would have been killed as a traitor in his own country. Wendy isn’t easily swayed by what he is telling her, and Philip sarcastically says, “like we haven’t heard that before”.
As the story unfolds, Wendy discovers there is so much more to Haile and his story begins to affect her. Seeing this, Philip begins to wonder if she has lost her edge knowing that the officials want this case closed swiftly. Questioning her, Wendy makes it plain that she is perfectly capable of doing her job.
But is she? Haile’s story becomes perilous, sad, moving and with a conclusion that even he cannot see coming.
Headey as Wendy is focused on her work trying not to let her personal life come through. The problem with that is the choices she makes and the cover up daily of the cost of that same personal life. Once in the room with Haile, she begins to feel something she had not before, a bit of compassion. Headey makes it easy to seem detached (I mean who hasn’t seen Cersei in Game of Thrones right?) but when the cracks begin to show it is nothing short of well done.
Jeremiah as Haile is such a stunning person to tell the story. His emotions are never out of control, instead having dealt with the trauma of his journey, tells his story with calm and a self-understanding that is truly beautiful. The first time I experienced Jeremiah as an actor was in the AMC series Humans and his role as Max. He was one of my favorite characters in the show and to see him now in THE FLOOD reinforces why I am moved by his performances.
Glen as Philip is a man who wants to keep his own boss’ happy by getting the case taken care of swiftly and expeditiously, hence bringing Wendy in to do the job. When he sees her wavering, Philip is not happy one bit. When he is confronted by her toward the films ending, there is a moment where he is overcome and knows there is culpability on his part as well. Glen is also an alumnus from Game of Thrones but not an unknown actor by any stretch. It is good to see him!
Other cast include: Amira Ghazalla as Fatima, Jack Gordon as Russell, Adam Samuel-Bal as Baiju, Sam Otto as Josef, Rebecca Johnson as Kim and John Lightbody as Keith.
Samuel Goldwyn Films is an American film company that releases and distributes art-house, independent and foreign films. Founded by Samuel Goldwyn Jr., the son of the Hollywood magnate/mogul, Samuel Goldwyn. Founded in 2000, they are responsible for such films as
BULL, TO THE STARS, LADIESIN LAVENDER and GOYA’S GHOST. For more information please visit www.samuelgoldwynfilms.com.
THE FLOOD is an emotional film that reminds me a lot of the 1983 film EL NORTE. The first time I saw that film I was stunned, and THE FLOOD brings back all that emotion as well. In the cast of the latter film, listening to Haile tell the story with such control knowing that everything was out of control, it is all to the performance of Jeremiah.
The film is centers on Headey and Jeremiah face to face in the interrogation room as he tries to give honest answers to an unemotional Wendy’s questions. As more of his story unfolds, the interrogation room gets bigger and bigger in scope of how, as people, we need one another to do what is right amid what is legal.
Keeping with not telling everything, be prepared for your emotions to be stretched and your conscience to be knocked on.
In the end – they need to hear one another.