directed by Nick Broomfield
United Kingdom 2006


Based on the factual event, where 23 illegal Chinese migrant workers, in February 2004, drowned while cockling at Morecambe Bay, Nick Broomfield’s Ghosts is a painful, part fact part fiction, account of modern day self-imposed slavery.

Having researched the situation himself, both in China and England, as well as drawing on the reports of Guardian journalist Hsiao-Hung Pai, Broomfield exposes the exploitation of poor and desperate people, from snakeheads and gangmasters who extort them, to public officials who accept bribes to give them slave labour.

Broomfield never makes an issue out of these, but instead tells a story of human interest, here thru the Chinese illegal migrant Ai Qin, of how poverty and desperation makes her, at first, gullible to promises of wealth in the West, on which grounds she lends $25,000 to pay to be smuggled to the West in hope of there being able to make enough money to give her infant son a better life in China, then how she is exploited and extorted, while both struggling to survive and attempting to pay her, in fact unpayable, debt.

The title Ghosts, is the term used to describe the English, but is more fitting for the illegal migrants, who are invisible to most of us, and when seen, are exposed to xenophobia, racism and violence, as exploited as their “masters” see fit.

Using largely non-acting cast and filmed in a semi-documentary style, Ghosts is a film not to be missed. Ghosts is as painful to watch, as it is one of the best films of the year.

Henrik Sylow


Theatrical Release: January 12, 2007

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DVD Review: Tartan - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow for the Review!

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Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:35:22

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.66 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital English / Mandarin, 5.1 Dolby Digital English / Mandarin, DTS English / Mandarin
Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• The making of Ghosts (1:04:22)
• Original Theatrical Trailer (2:44)

DVD Release Date: April 9, 2007
Keep Case

Chapters 16



Shot on HD Video, the image is flawless. Quality depends on light sources and how and where it was shot, but no artefacts visible, sharp details and deep blacks.

Of additional material, the documentary / making of is almost an entire feature in itself. Running over 1 hour, it goes behind the scenes and gives us a look at the real world, thru - amongst others - interviews with real former illegal migrants. Worth the price of the DVD alone.

 - Henrik Sylow


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