Battle for Barking

The Battle for Barking

  • UK
  • 85
  • PG
  • Laura Fairrie
  • Laura Fairrie (Producer)
  • Laura Fairrie (Cinematographer)
  • Zillah Bowes (Cinematographer)
  • Gareth Furby (Cinematographer)
  • John Mister (Editor)
  • Molly Nyman (Music)
  • Harry Escott (Music)

It’s all-out war in London’s borough of Barking where Nick Griffin, leader of the far-right British National Party (BNP), is screamed at and spat upon by locals as he pounds the pavement for votes in the UK’s 2010 federal election. Leveraging white, working class fear in a multi-racial area with skyrocketing unemployment and high immigration, he threatens to oust long-term incumbent, left-wing Labour MP Margaret Hodge. The BNP’s solution to all of Britain’s problems? Return Britain to its former ethnic “purity” by halting immigration and “firm but voluntary repatriation” for those with “non-British” ancestry. As Hodge describes Griffin, “He hates women, he hates Jews, he hates immigrants, and I’m all of them.” More horrifying: he could actually win. Director Laura Fairrie’s fly-on-the-wall, year-long backroom access to both candidates makes for gripping viewing as a study on how rapidly the disenfranchised become radicalized when their leaders stop listening. Gisèle Gordon

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