Leila married for love without her family’s permission and has staked everything to escape her native Afghanistan to be reunited with her husband and give birth to their child in London. To the people harbouring her in Tehran as she awaits safe passage, her secrets pose a dangerous threat. The sooner they can get her across the snow covered mountains to the north, the better.
Eight-year-old Parsa’s story is a poetic rendering of a brutal rite of passage. The Iranian boy, his mother and two fellow travellers are locked in a tiny flat somewhere in Greece, awaiting safe passage north. Day after day Parsa watches as their trafficker bullies and manipulates the adults, studying his captor’s gestures and body language for clues of what it will take to survive in this brave new world.
Laura arrived in the UK before Poland was part of the EU. Now she’s living a model London life – working by day as a hairdresser to support her teenage daughter, Alexia, and studying by night to fulfil her own professional dreams, with loving encouragement from her North African boyfriend, Sami. Everything is as it should be until Alexia answers the door to immigration officers. Sami shares his true story, and Alexia offers to keep it a secret until after mother’s exams.
Ramzi works as an interpreter in a London court where the fates of his ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ from the Arab world are decided. While his legal position is secure, each new case challenges his emotional and ethical comfort zone. As he struggles to hide his own vulnerability, he sees his own yearning for a better life for himself and his English girlfriend reflected in the eyes of the immigrants.