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The Follower

UK, 1989 (MIFF 1990, Fiction)

Director: Linda Hassani

London, some years after the introduction of Thatcher's "poll tax" is the setting. The country's answer to poverty, homelessness and unemployment is a privatized social welfare scheme. The scheme operates by giving the rich a "tax deduction" if they take on one of the poor as a "follower". "A follower" receives no wages, but as a tax deductible personal servant to the wealthy, is able to survive by eating scraps from the tables of their benefactor. This outrageous science fiction scenario is given a logic framed as a short thriller from the British National Film and Television School. In this totally believable and concisely told story an unemployed ex-union shop steward discovers that being a "follower" for a stupid property developer is worse than slavery.
- (TC)

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