EXPOSING THE HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT
Hostile is an award-winning feature-length documentary written, produced and directed by BAFTA-longlisted filmmaker Sonita Gale.
Told through the stories of four participants from Black and Asian backgrounds, Hostile reveals the human stories behind the government’s “hostile environment” policies, which are designed to make living conditions so difficult for migrants that they voluntarily leave the country.
What does it mean to be British? How does it feel to be told you don’t belong?
A series of sweeping changes in legislation suggest these are questions we should all be considering.
Hostile is available to watch online.
You can also show Hostile to your community by hosting your own screening.
THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW
Hostile is a springboard to enact real change within our system and to improve real lives in this country.
Find out more about our impact campaign and how to get involved.
“This hostile environment was supposed to be about being hostile to people who were here illegally but the hostility extended to people who were here completely lawfully, in many cases for decades.”
“They locked me up, saying I was illegal and they were going to deport me.. I’m angry, but sometimes I find it hard to show my anger because when I show my anger as a black man I’m a mad man.”
“This government tells you all the problems you have are not your fault. It’s because of those migrants over there. It’s not our fault either. It’s because of the migrants.”
“I think that what’s happening with so-called highly-skilled migrants has the potential to be something like a Windrush scandal again.”
“As long as the general population is passive, apathetic, diverted to consumerism or hatred of the vulnerable, then the powerful can do as they please, and those who survive will be left to contemplate the outcome.”
“Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.”
“The very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work; keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language; spend 20 years proving that you do…there will always be one more thing.”
“For all these years, I have been giving, giving, giving. I haven’t claimed a single penny of government money. Now I’m thinking, did I waste 17 years of my life giving back to this country?”
“I just want to live my life here. Why should I have to fight to be part of the society that I’ve grown up in? What’s my crime? I didn’t commit no crime.”
“What does it mean when you have to fight to belong to a society? To me that seems completely anti-human.”
“There seems to be in this country two completely separate worlds which live alongside one another.”
★★★★ Time Out – Whelan Barzey: “A plea for humanity”
★★★★ The Upcoming – Oliver Johnson: “A simmering sense of rage throughout”
★★★★ The Guardian – Peter Bradshaw: “A powerful film”
★★★★ Morning Star – Maria Duarte and Van Connor: “Essential viewing”
Sight and Sound – Abiba Coulibaly “Impactful.”
BFI Player – Mark Kermode: “Hostile is more than just a film. It’s a multimedia collage that calls for action, engaging the viewer, and encouraging them to change the world for the better.”
The Guardian – Amelia Gentleman: “Shows powerfully the pain inflicted on innocent people by a broken system.”
The New European – Jason Solomons: “What’s interesting about Hostile is its desire to dig ever deeper.”
gal-dem – Jeevan Ravindran: “Unpacks just how multifaceted and damaging UK immigration legislation can be.”
“I’ve written music for about 70 films and television shows but I’m probably proudest of my involvement in this because it’s incredibly important and it’s the most salient thing out there right now.”
– Nitin Sawhney, Award-winning Musician and Executive Producer of Hostile
“An important and revealing film with critical questions and revelations about UK society in the 21st Century.”
– Jon Snow, Former Presenter at Channel 4 News
“It broke my heart, it made me angry…We are a society that’s inclusive. It’s not our natural thing to be divisive. Thank you for making a film that will make us think about these things and hopefully give us some optimism for change as well as breaking our hearts.”
– Ursula Macfarlane, Award-winning Film and Television Director
“Hostile is important, urgent viewing for all of us – it’s a reminder of the bricks that built this country, and how delicate those foundations have become. It is not surprising that Hostile moved and angered someone with a name like mine – a name that screams its multiplicitous belongings and its migrant background. But this film underlines – to all – that hostile, divisive policies are a choice, and that by choosing them, we are enshrining a commitment to division into the laws of our country. If history hasn’t taught us enough lessons, then these dark times on the horizon will, and they will affect every single one of us.”
– Elhum Shakerifar, BAFTA nominated Producer and Curator
“Hostile is an extremely powerful film that showcases and highlights the very important stories which are hugely affecting our community. It is a film that will amplify the voices of many people who often are left unheard. Congratulations to Sonita Gale, her team and all the people involved who shared their stories.”
– Kyriakos Georgiou, Founder of The South London Film Festival
“This documentary tells searing truths and engages hearts and minds. It reminds us of our collective responsibility to support those stuck in the immigration system, and to champion protection and asylum rights. Refugee Council stands with those affected by these issues. We’re grateful to Sonita Gale for telling these vital stories, for her dedicated work, and for speaking truth to power.”
– Enver Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council
‘Hostile has changed how I think’: the King Alfred School hosts impact screening
Hostile was screened to students, parents and teachers at the
‘A wake-up call for change in UK Immigration policy’: two LSE students reflect on Hostile
Following a fantastic screening of Hostile at the London School of Economics
Acknowledging migrant healthcare workers: Hostile screens with the NHS Providers
Hostile was screened exclusively to medical professionals for the first
‘Incredibly touching and thought provoking’: Hostile goes to Goldsmiths University
Hostile screened at Goldsmiths University on Thursday 30th March. The