Exclusive – Film director Sue Clayton on her latest documentary
Unheard Voices interviews UK director and screenwriter Sue Clayton about her latest documentary Hamedullah: The Road Home, which claims to highlight injustices in the UK asylum and immigration systems.
Hamedullah: The Road Home, which won Best Short Documentary at the London Independent Film Festival, tells the story of a young Afghan who claims asylum in the UK, and his struggle to cope after being deported on a ‘ghost’ charter flight back to Afghanistan.
Sue Clayton filmed Hamedullah and his friends up to the day he was deported. Clayton gave Hamedullah a small video camera when he was deported, hoping to find out whether he would survive in Afghanistan.
Clayton has made over 20 award-winning films for BBC and Channel 4, including The Disappearance of Finbar with Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Clayton said:
A lot of my films are about people who go on journeys, and what people are looking for in their lives and how they change. Are they running to something or from something and who do they become when they go on a journey?
Clayton talks about her inspiration for the film and the growing impact it is having on raising awareness and trying to change immigration policy. She said:
The government has a policy of sending young people back when they turn 18 years old. Nobody tracks what happens to them. The home office won’t do it or allow anyone else to do it.
Clayton said that Hamedullah the Road Home is a unique and very human record of the real life of someone who has been sent back. She believes that its power lies in the ability of film to allow you to see into the truth of something, the human detail that goes beyond statistics and facts.
Film by Marishka Van Steenbergen and Joe Bream
Read more about what NCADC thinks about the UK Border Agency’s reluctance to track those they send back here