Socialist Worker

58 | The Exception to the Rulers

Issue No. 1924

Philippe Cherbonnier

Appalled by the news of the 58 Chinese people who suffocated in a lorry on the journey to Dover in 2000, Philippe Cherbonnier set out to explore the immigration debate in Britain.

He conducted video workshops in which people expressed their views on immigration.

The clips are interspersed throughout this play, giving a context to the tragedy.

Cherbonnier’s play fills in the background to the Dover deaths. We see the lives of three Chinese people in their home country – a poverty-stricken farmer, a woman whose life has been destroyed by the Great Dam project, and a woman who simply wants to live an independent life.

In Dover a police officer in charge of identifying the bodies from the lorry becomes increasingly sympathetic towards the plight of migrants and increasingly estranged from her racist husband.

The themes of the lottery and lucky numbers run throughout this excellent play.

The message is that where you are born is a matter of luck, and it is perfectly natural for people down on their luck to migrate to try to improve on the life fate dealt them.

Cath Senker

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The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers and the Media That Love Them
Amy Goodman

Goodman’s book is a detailed exposé of human rights abuses and the leaders who perpetrate them.

It joins the political dots that link the Bush administration with the oppresive Saudi regime, with billions of dollars in military and commercial contracts in Iraq and hefty political campaign donations.

Goodman makes a powerful argument about the ability of the media to shape our ideas about the world and about history.

Rose Gruber

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Article information

Sat 23 Oct 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1924
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