A damning report into the Home Office scandal was published just as the pandemic took hold. So 50 actors made a film about the victims, with words taken from the Guardian
Normally, newspaper articles have a very short shelf life – quickly read on the day of publication and subsequently either entirely forgotten or left to linger vaguely in the readers’ subconscious. It is rare for news reports to inspire an artistic response, and almost certainly unprecedented for a piece to result in 50 actors reading out 50 paragraphs from a Guardian article.
The anger about the treatment of Britain’s Windrush generation remains so intense, however, that a group of actors collaborated during lockdown to organise the recording of 50 mini-biographies of people whose lives were shattered by the Home Office scandal. The resulting half-hour film – Windrush Betrayal – offers a powerful insight into the intensity of mistreatment by government officials, amplifying the voices of those affected with a much more potent emotional punch than the pared-back article I wrote in March could ever have done.