SEX: MY BRITISH JOB
Dir: Fritz Lang – 1927
A magnificent science fiction vision of a future world divided into underground proletariat and an above ground capitalist elite. The workers, oppressed by the very machines they must tend – are thrown into turmoil when Freder, the leading industrialist’s son, falls in love with the workers’ angel of mercy, Maria. Above ground, his father unleashes the evil scientist Rotwang, who fabricates a robotic (and lascivious) Maria to tempt the workers to their doom, her sexy dance before the capitalist class being worthy of the price of admission alone. With even those who dismissed the film, such as influential American critic Pauline Kael, admitting that the way “human beings” in the underground were “used architecturally” was extraordinary, this is a film of future labour that has been taken as representing both ends of the political spectrum. For some a pseudo-Marxist version of H.G. Wells’s Time Machine; for Hitler and Goebbels a film appealing to the ideals of Nazism, so much so that they invited Lang to work for the Nazis, prompting him to flee to Hollywood.
Dir: Nick Broomfield – 2007
Ai Qin (Ai Qin Lin) is a young woman living in Fuzhou, China. With no work and no prospects, Ai Qin leaves her family behind and pays $5000 to be smuggled into the U.K. There she lands a meager job at a meat-packing plant that is staffed almost entirely by migrant workers. Looking to supplement her income, Ai Qin becomes a cockle picker on Morecambe Bay, thus setting the stage for the tragic real-life events that took place there in 2004 when 23 migrant workers lost their lives.
SEX: MY BRITISH JOB
Dir: Nick Broomfield – 2013
In a bold piece of undercover reporting, investigative journalist Hsiao-Hung Pai poses as a housekeeper to film secretly in brothels across London. She and her director, Nick Broomfield, aim to highlight the forces that push immigrant women into becoming sex workers. Hsiao meets Chinese women who are under huge pressure to send money home to their families or to pay back the money they borrowed to be smuggled into the UK.