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Living Statistic (2006)

First Light Movies

Main image of Living Statistic (2006)
video, 8 mins
DirectorPeter Snelling
Production CompanyHi8us Films in association with First Light

The story of the Kachepa family who face deportation to Malawi and the local campaign to let them stay in Weymouth.

Show full synopsis

An insightful documentary detailing the predicament of teenager Alex Kachepa and his family as they face deportation by the immigration office. A lively and popular member of the local community, Alex's situation moves the people of Weymouth to organise a protest, and campaign against the family's forced expulsion.

A brilliant example of how the 'digital revolution' allows access to previously unheard voices, Living Statistic offers its viewers a human dimension to the realities of Britain's immigration debate. While the Kachepa's plight initially attracts support from both local Conservative and Labour MPs, a drawn-out legal process undermines any continued press interest. Alex and his family are forced to say goodbye to their friends a number of times over five years, only to be returned to Weymouth as the result of bureaucratic error.

One of these 'near-deportations' provides the film with an unexpected comedic sequence in which Alex describes how a number of girls sent him texts declaring their love, thinking they would never see him again. His reappearance in Weymouth a few days later, while greeted enthusiastically, is also the source of much embarrassment.

Alex's family ultimately loses its appeal to stay in the UK, and the film ends with an emotional farewell between the Kachepa's and tearful members of the local community, both young and old. Developed in association with First Light, a scheme that enables under-18s to create their own films, this touching film represents a notorious subject from the point of view of those people directly affected beneath the controversial headlines.

Poppy Simpson

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