Sitting in Limbo is a 2020 TV movie directed by Stella Corradi, written by Stephen S. Thompson and starring Patrick Robinson, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Andrew Dennis and Nadine Marshall, alongside other cast members. The movie is 89 minutes long.
The Netflix description reads:
After living 50 years in the UK, Anthony Bryan is wrongfully detained by the government and threatened with deportation. Based on true events.
– Sitting in Limbo review does not contain spoilers –
Released in 2020, Sitting in Limbo comes at a time when a similar situation was unfolding in the USA. The Black Lives Matter movement brought all eyes to the problems people have been facing for years. Sitting in Limbo focuses on a similar but different situation – the Windrush scandal, or one case in the wider problem. “Based on true events” movies aren’t always based on true events, but this one surely is.
The film follows Anthony Bryan, a man living in the UK for 50 years. He has his whole life there – that’s his home. However, one fine day his world is turned upside down and things take a turn for the worse.
Sitting in Limbo, and similar films, are important. They bring forth the double standards of the world, the pain, anguish and confusion faced by people at the hands of other humans and the selfishness of the world around us. One man’s struggle brings a thousand emotions to the forefront in the hearts of the viewers and makes us step into their shoes for some time so that we understand the wider picture and become more empathetic.
Anthony Bryan was born in Jamaica, but he came to the UK with his mother five decades ago. Unfortunately for him though, as he applies for a passport to visit his ageing mother back home, he is told that he is an illegal immigrant, after staying for 50 years in the UK! He’s detained, his job is taken from him and he is threatened with deportation.
That’s not the worst part of this tale though. As Anthony tries to go through the various hurdles to prove his citizenship, bureaucracy comes in the way of him living a healthy life. It’s heartbreaking to see people behaving with fellow human beings with such coldness and malice. People are hostile towards him and others like him.
Sitting in Limbo is a story many have heard, or faced, before. However, every time a similar story comes to light through cinema, we are brought back to tears at the sheer helplessness of the situation. The West is kinda famous for dehumanising other fellow humans – we have seen this many times before. However, a reminder of this still feels horrible. No one should be made to feel like they are less than their fellow humans and this movie proves what it feels like to be on the receiving end.
I won’t get into specifics about the scandal or the end result of Anthony’s struggles against the government. However, in spite of essentially winning in the end, the hoops that Anthony had to go through to just live and work at a place he has been living for 50-odd years is horrible and shameful. It will make you feel alone and isolated. The racism is horrible and the thought that not one, but hundreds of people went through the same ordeal is disgusting.
However, one good thing that Sitting in Limbo sheds light on regardless of the horrible surroundings is Anthony’s family. It’s the only beacon of light in this sordid tale. It’s warm and full of hope and there are many emotional moments that will make you feel hope.
Patrick Robinson as Anthony Bryan is great. He brings forth Bryan’s desperation, anger and helplessness regarding a situation out of his control without much hassle and you feel angry on his behalf. His portrayal is genuine and since he shoulders most of the weight of the movie, he does a great job at it.
Summing up: Sitting in Limbo
Sitting in Limbo is a serious movie about racism and oppression. There are some moments of hope, but mostly it gets really difficult to watch another human being be belittled like this. Although I’d say that everyone should watch this to get themselves acquainted regarding other people’s miseries and how powerful nations oppress those under them, it might get a bit much for some. Thus, watch at your own discretion.
Sitting in Limbo is streaming on Netflix.