A young homeless man is collected from the streets by a private contractor and taken to a place where he is offered shelter and work. However, good intentions seem to be masking mean private interests when Michael (the homeless) finds himself waiting for a salary that the contractor will eventually never pay.
Director Jonathan Kemp makes a shocking film about domestic slavery and forced labour in the United Kingdom. Exploited and pushed harder and harder, having to bare a life worse than his previous one as a homeless, Michael loses his will of working and ‘serving’. He thought he had nothing to lose but he realises he has in fact lost the only thing he had left: his freedom. He still scents for it in the breeze, he still yearns for it with his heart but freedom is now something he can only dream for. When he decides to run he finds out that escaping is not so easy.
Jonathan Kemp’s ‘Michael’ reminds about the powerful drama films, making an open, direct discourse about real life issues happening out there. Moody and clouded, ‘Michael’ gives one shivers at the thought that this kind of a life is somewhere really being lived. The scene of Michael feeding the seagulls from his only slice of bread is particularly powerful and memorable, revealing the deep kindness of his heart and his free spirit.
‘Michael’ has been awarded TMFF’s Film of April 2016 for the sensibility with which it was realised and its ability to draw awareness on a very actual social theme that suffers very few publicity.