Director: Sonita Gale | Countries of production: United Kingdom | Year: 2021 | Length: 97 min
Language: English | Certificate: 12A Cert

Migrants in the UK face ever more menacing forces of marginalisation in this urgent documentary on the Hostile Environment.

On the tenth anniversary of the Hostile Environment, this searing documentary is essential viewing in the fight for migrant justice. Charting the policies’ devastating impacts from the Windrush scandal to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hostile scrutinises the violent sociopolitical apparatus designed to dehumanise, disempower, and exhaust migrants into leaving the UK. Amidst such brutality, however, powerful examples of community organising act as an galvanising call for care, solidarity, and action.


Content notes: Discussions of racism, poverty, depression. Depictions of racism, violence, and death.

Access notes: Mix of light and dark images; considerable explanatory dialogue (in English)

Screening as part of #TOAFF22


Sonita Gale is a British Asian writer, producer and director. Elevating the stories of migrants and marginalised communities is at the forefront of her work.

Sonita’s debut feature documentary as director, HOSTILE, is an award-winning and BAFTA and BIFA-longlisted film exposing the ‘hostile environment’ for migrants living in the UK. Hostile has screened across the country at Picturehouse and independent cinemas, and has been selected for a number of international film festivals. In 2021, the film debuted at Raindance Film Festival.

Since then, Hostile won the award for Best Documentary Feature at the South London Film Festival, was a finalist in the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival (in the ‘Supreme Award’ and ‘Best Director – International’ categories), and won Best Documentary Feature at Filmocracy Fest 2022 and the Roxbury International Film Festival 2022. Hostile also received a special mention for the Award of Excellence at the Impact DOCS Awards 2022, and an honourable mention for Best Indie Film at the Best Indie Film Awards 2022. 

Social media:
Hostile: @hostiledoc
Galeforce Films: @galeforcefilms
Hostile website



Our friends at Lighthouse (Edinburgh’s Radical Bookshop) put together specially-curated reading lists for a selection of films, inviting us to delve deeper into the issues explored in our line-up. Here you’ll find a list of books recommended by Mairi relating to Hostile which delves deeper into borders and migrant justice.