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Gas Attack (2001)

Main image of Gas Attack (2001)
Hart Ryan Productions/FilmFour for True Stories, Channel 4, tx. 8/10/2001
75 minutes, colour
DirectorKenneth Glenaan
Executive ProducerDavid Hart
ProducerSamantha Kingsley
ScreenplayRowan Joffe
PhotographyGraham Smith

When a young girl falls ill on a Glasgow housing estate inhabited predominantly by refugees, one asylum support officer begins to suspect that a right-wing terrorist might be targeting the area with biological weapons.

Video Clips

1. Broomiehill Infirmary meeting (3:00)
2. Ignorance (3:00)
3. Six hours to deadline (5:00)

What do you think?

Watch the first clip, 'Broomiehill Infirmary meeting'

  1. Why do you think the language barrier is such a problem for the doctors, patients and families?
  2. What additional difficulties do doctors have when treating asylum seekers and refugees?
  3. Why do you think the filmmaker decided to use a handheld camera in this extract?
  4. What is the effect of the CCTV footage?

Now watch the third clip, 'Six hours to deadline'

  1. What devices does the filmmaker use to create a sense of panic? Is this effective?
  2. Why do you think refugees and asylum seekers become targets of terrorism in the film?
  1. The difficulties in translation mean that important information can be confused and missed leading to more panic.
  2. The doctors may not know the medical history of asylum seekers and refugees when treating them which makes their job more difficult.
  3. Handheld cameras are often used in filmmaking to create a more 'realistic' and raw effect perhaps suggesting that the footage is shot by an amateur or that it's someone's point of view.
  4. The CCTV footage also adds to the feeling of realism and credibility as well as adding visual texture to the film.
  5. By layering news reportage with the main action in the film the filmmaker suggests a feeling of authenticity. This contributes to the sense of panic by making an audience believe that this is really happening - that the deadline is, in fact, real.
  6. Unfortunately refugees and immigrants can become the targets of abuse which can often be the result of tensions between different communities.