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Greenlit: The Romanians are Coming, BBC1

The Romanians Are Coming – (1 x 60′) –   At the tail end of 2013 the UK’s papers were full of panic-inducing headlines about the millions of Romanians waiting to invade our shores, take our jobs and fleece our Welfare System once EU border controls were relaxed on 1st January. Journalist and filmmaker Tim Samuels, himself a descendent of Romanian immigrants, has decided to look behind the headlines and uncover the true impact of “the Romanian invasion” and the UK’s continuing unease with the thorny issue of immigration.

Beginning his journey in December 2013, Tim gets a sense of why Romanians have become public enemy number one even before border restrictions are lifted. On his own doorstep in Central London, he uncovers friction between the business owners of Park Lane and the Roma gypsies who’ve made the doorways of this most expensive of streets their home.

On 1st January Tim joins the media scrum at Luton Airport to witness the scale of the first wave of the much-hyped invasion. He travels to Romania to try to find out why people would want to leave their homeland in search of a new life in a country that doesn’t want them.

In the first five months of 2014 he follows the experiences of some of the newcomers as they try to find their feet. He checks in on them at key moments in their attempts to assimilate themselves to our way of life: finding homes, starting jobs, paying into or drawing off of the Welfare State. Immersing himself with Britain’s newest immigrants, he experiences first-hand the prejudice and hostility they face from some of the natives. But he also gets a sense of what genuinely worries some of us about immigration.

Irreverent, insightful and warm, Tim’s journey reveals some surprising sides to our own national psyche as well as that of our newest neighbours.

Channel: BBC1

Producer: BBC

TX: Summer 2014

Source: BBC press release

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