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Stolen on Amazon Prime

Television Film: Global Child-Trafficking

by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | November 17, 2021

Finally! Ten years after it’s release, Stolen starring Damian Lewis, Vicky McClure and Jo Hartley is now available for streaming on Amazon Prime here.

A fast-paced thriller about child trafficking in Britain. Anthony Carter (Lewis) is a detective inspector battling to make a difference to the plight of exploited children smuggled into the UK.

When Anthony encounters Rosemary, a terrified 10 year old girl from West Africa, sold as a house slave, he vows to keep her safe from the traffickers, but in doing so, Anthony risks his own and his child’s life.

Full storyline: D.I. Anthony Carter works in the police Human Trafficking Unit and on his office wall he has photos of children brought into the country under false pretenses and subjected to slave working conditions. Rosemary, aged 10 – the same age as Anthony’s daughter – arrives from Lagos believing she will be afforded an education so she destroys her passport to avoid repatriation. She will be sold as a house servant and forced into submission by her handlers.

Fifteen-year-old Kim Pak from Vietnam, whose gardening skills are exploited, is made to grow cannabis in an artificially-lit factory. And Georgie, a fourteen-year-old Ukrainian works as a sandwich-maker. Anthony’s job is not only oppressive, but it can be dangerous. His wife is threatened by traffickers and sadly, at least one of the trio will never see freedom and their homeland again. An end title dismisses any false optimism as it reports the lucrative turn-over in global child-trafficking.

View photos in our Gallery here.

Below is Director Justin Chadwick, writer Stephen Butchard and Damian discussing the television film Stolen at the May 9, 2011 BFI screening and Q&A:

Continue reading Stolen on Amazon Prime

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Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis in Stolen – Jan 18, 2018

Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis in Stolen

by Damianista – Fan Fun with Damian Lewis – January 18, 2018

Source: BBC

Human trafficking is nothing but modern day slavery. It is a multi-billion dollar crime industry where, according to The International Labor Organization estimates, 24.9 million people are deprived of their freedoms globally. What makes this even worse is that 1 in 4 of the victims are children.

Stolen is a harrowing TV drama, made in 2011 for BBC One, that focuses on the problem of child trafficking. Written by Stephen Butchard, directed by Justin Chadwick, and filmed in Manchester, the movie stars a number of very talented first-time child actors along with our own Damian Lewis. The movie received a BAFTA TV nomination for Best Single Drama in 2012.

Here is the official trailer:

Stephen Butchard tells The Telegraph how a 60-second real-life news bulletin on the radio inspired him to send an email to BBC drama department and start writing the screenplay:

“I was listening to the news on 5 Live and they had a report about an African child who had been trafficked into the country to work as a domestic slave. I thought, ‘Surely that can’t be happening in this country?’ But they said it wasn’t a one-off; it happens again and again.”

Source: BBC

And this is exactly what Stolen brings us in its opening scene: Rosemary (Gloria Oyewumi), an 11-year old girl from Nigeria, lands at the Manchester airport. She walks out of the plane, alone, directly into an airport bathroom to do what she was instructed before she boarded the plane: She flushes away her passport. Rosemary is not traceable now.

Continue reading Throwback Thursday to Damian Lewis in Stolen – Jan 18, 2018

Categories Stolen

‘Stolen’ Nominated for BAFTA TV Award


Stolen received a Bafta nomination for best Single Drama on Tuesday. The drama which deals with child trafficking and slavery broadcast on BBC1 in July last year. The Arqiva British Academy Television Awards will take place at the Royal Festival Hall on Sunday, May 27th and be broadcast on BBC1.

Single Drama

Holy Flying Circus
Tony Roche, Owen Harris, Kate Norrish, Polly Leys
Hillbilly Television, TalkbackTHAMES/BBC Four

Page Eight
David Hare, Bill Nighy, David Heyman, David Barron
A Heyday Films, Runaway Fridge TV, Carnival Films production in association with NBC Universal for BBC/BBC Two

Random
Polly Leys, Kate Norrish, Debbie Tucker Green
Hillbilly Television/Channel 4

Stolen
Sita Williams, Rebecca Hodgson, Stephen Butchard, Justin Chadwick
Open Door Films Ltd/BBC One

Source: BAFTA

Categories Poll Stolen

Vote for ‘Stolen’

Stolen has been nominated for a Radio Times/CDN Drama Award. According to the article:

The Radio Times/CDN Drama Award is for the drama programme that authentically portrays the diversity of contemporary British society in an effortless, natural and inclusive way. The strands of diversity to consider are: race/ethnicity, gender, disability, age, sexuality, faith, regionality, and social class.

The Creative Diversity Network works for diversity across the broadcasting industry, both on- and off-screen. Its Awards seek to recognise and reward programmes that are reflective of contemporary Britain and embrace diversity, in all its forms.

Voting ends Wednesday, November 2nd. Click here at the Radio Times website to vote.

Reminder: There will be a free screening of Stolen, as part of the Unchosen Film Campaign 2011, on November 1st in London. Click here and here for more information.

Categories Screenings Stolen

‘Stolen’ UK screening

The Centre for the Study of Human Rights will hold a free screening of Stolen on November

1st at the LSE in London. Director Justin Chadwick will be among the speakers. Click here for more information.

Categories Stolen

More reviews

From The Irish Times (Beware of spoilers!):

Stolen (BBC1, Sunday), a thought-provoking and moving drama about child trafficking into Britain, managed to stay – just – on the fine line that runs in these heavily themed films between information and entertainment, largely thanks to the powerful performances of the child actors Gloria Oyewumi, Huy Pham and Inokentijs Vitkevics.

Damian Lewis was Detective Carter from Manchester police’s human trafficking unit working on a case that started when an 11-year-old West African child was found alone at the airport. Three different stories of trafficking, linked only by Carter, told the story. There was Rosemary, the silent, resilient 11-year-old who thought she was coming to England for an education but ended up being sold for £4,000 to an African family to be used as a house servant; Kim Pak from Vietnam, imprisoned in a cannabis-growing house in suburbia; and 14-year-old Ukranian Georgie, whose dreams of starting a new life end with enslavement in a sandwich-making factory …

The use of a split screen to show the contrast between Carter’s care for his own young daughter and the unprotected, exploited lives of the trafficked children was a little heavy-handed, and the unequal time given to the three stories was puzzling. Rosemary and Georgie’s stories were told in full, while Kim Pak’s story was little more than a distant sub-plot fading in and out of the film, so that it was difficult to care or even understand much about his plight.

For a drama keen to expose facts, there were twists that strained credibility … Still the drama threw a little light onto a difficult subject, without quite being the thriller it was billed as.

From the Telegraph:

Instead, they offer us something as good as Stolen (BBC One) and end it with a few pages of credits that I, a speedy reader, couldn’t read half of. There were ways that Stolen could have been better. To those who have been faced with the dreadful results, it might seem that child-trafficking is the product of an indifferent society, but the more complicated truth is that society, whether it cared or not, would find it hard to do something about it. It’s one thing to underline the dilemma presented by the awkward fact that the law protects the rights of criminals, but another to suggest, as the final scenes of the show did, that a young person could fall unconscious in public and the public would not react.

Scenes like that looked like painting the dark darker, but the show was redeemed and made serious by some wonderful acting, especially from Damian Lewis, the leading man. After Band of Brothers he was set fair for an all-American career, but he decided to spend some of his time with us, with the result that he has been in some pretty dreary stuff. This programme was worthy of him.

Categories Media News Print Media Stolen

Damian Lewis on the Misery of Human Trafficking Exposed in New Manchester TV Drama – July 4, 2011

‘It’s heartbreaking’: Damian Lewis on the misery of human trafficking exposed in new Manchester TV drama

Damian Lewis stars in Stolen a distressing new TV drama filmed in Manchester and Salford which is based on the work of a police unit combating human trafficking.

by Ian Wylie – Manchester Evening News – 4 JUL 2011

Damian Lewis

Once upon a time, each and every day in fact, children are being trafficked into the UK and put to work. Unpaid, unprotected, unseen. So begins a shocking, disturbing and sometimes distressing TV drama. Filmed in Manchester and Salford, Stolen is a gripping thriller based on a reality hidden away from our everyday view.

“It’s absolutely heartbreaking,” reflects Band of Brothers star Damian Lewis, who plays Det Insp Anthony Carter, head of a human trafficking unit racing against time to save child slaves.

Continue reading Damian Lewis on the Misery of Human Trafficking Exposed in New Manchester TV Drama – July 4, 2011

Categories Stolen

More ‘Stolen’ Reviews

Excerpts from a few reviews below. Warning: The Guardian review contains spoilers regarding a character’s death.

The Guardian

Also very good was Stolen (BBC1, Sunday), Stephen Butchard’s gritty thriller about child trafficking, with a strong performance by Damian Lewis as the well-meaning but ineffective DI Carter trying to stand up alone against a tide of international slavery. The child actors were excellent too – the young girl who plays Rosemary, a picture of shyness and terror, and the boy who is Georgie, the sweet lad from eastern Europe.

From The Independent

Stolen, BBC1’s one-off child-trafficking thriller, was a project worthy of Lewis’s talents. Written by Stephen Butchard (House of Saddam, Five Daughters) and directed by Justin Chadwick (Bleak House), it had impeccable provenance and, sure enough, even the title sequence squeaked with quality: lovingly composed photography, gorgeously bleak production design. Thanks, too, to some judicious editing, we were introduced within minutes to each of the wretched protagonists: Rosemary, a young girl fresh off the plane from Lagos on her way to domestic slavery; Georgie, an androgynous tyke condemned to clean up after the workers in a sandwich factory, and for no reward; and Kim Pak, a Vietnamese teen dreaming of escape from his gangmaster’s suburban marijuana farm.

From the Herald.ie

I WAS about to say there was an awful lot to enjoy about Stolen, except “enjoy” is probably not the ideal word to use about a drama about the harrowing subject of child trafficking. So let’s go with “admire” instead.

There was an awful lot to admire about Stolen, not least Damian Lewis as policeman DI Anthony Carter. Lewis was excellent, imbuing a character that was essentially a blank sheet with a compassion, controlled anger and inner life that wasn’t always obvious in Stephen Butchard’s uneven script.

Categories Stolen

More ‘Stolen’ press

New preview and article from the Telegraph:

So in the opening scenes we meet Rosemary, an African girl who has just landed at a British airport. On arrival, she follows the instructions from her “buyers”, flushing her passport away so that she is effectively untraceable. From that point on, the gang has the upper hand, explains Lewis.

The actor prepared for his role by shadowing a real-life human trafficking unit in London. If there are reasonable grounds to suspect trafficking, “the child will find some measure of safety within a government house,” he explains. “If not, they go to private carers.”

The child – in this case Rosemary – tries to escape from her carers so that she can contact the gang on a memorised number (they plan to make her a house servant, with a view to selling her on as a sex worker when she is older). The whole process is oiled by fear, says Lewis. “It’s especially hard with these African girls because they will have had ‘juju’ rituals performed on them [before the trip], to make them believe they’ll die if they don’t follow orders,” he says. “These are girls who have had blood taken from them, mixed with hair cuttings and nail clippings. They’re then doused in it, and a ceremony is performed by a priest.

“And they live in fear. One fact I learned was that it can take two years to break down even an adult, to re-educate her against the juju. So it’s a very complicated psychological problem and it relies on the police being able to elicit trust so they can get to the truth.”

There’s also this from the Associated Press:

Damian Lewis has revealed he’s developed an “American persona” for working in the US.

The flame-haired actor, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in the Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks-produced Band Of Brothers in 2001, had a two-year stint playing a detective in the US NBC series Life.

“It’s got to a point where I go shopping at the weekends and stay as an American, and then I find myself talking to an English person and that’s when I feel ridiculous,” he admitted.

“But in America more often than not I naturally wake up in an American accent.”

Damian, who has two children with actress wife Helen McCrory, wasn’t too devastated when Life was cancelled after two series.

“I think my wife was secretly relieved… actually very publicly relieved. She’d had enough. We were both taken by surprise by the amount of time we were kept apart because of the workload,” he said.

“I was having the life of Riley because I was working on something that I was committed to, but it was hard. Our son Gulliver was born there – so he’ll be president one day – but I didn’t see them enough.”

The star is back with Stolen, a new one-off TV drama about human trafficking in the UK, which airs on BBC One on Sunday July 3.

Categories Stolen

New Scotsman.com interview

Damian discusses Stolen, Homeland, and plans to do an “improbable” musical:

Lewis played Detective Charlie Crews in the NBC drama Life, and is heading back to the US to make Homeland. “It’s a cable show and is only 13 episodes, like The Wire or Mad Men – hopefully it’ll be as good as those shows.” he says. “It’s a political thriller made by the guys behind 24. I play Sergeant Nicholas Brody, a US Marine found in an al-Qaeda safe-house after being presumed dead for eight years. He is discovered looking like Tom Hanks in Castaway.

“They bring him home, and it’s seen as a great victory for US intelligence – they’re hoping to make him the poster boy of the American war effort. But at the same time, a thrusting CIA operative played by Claire Danes has information that a captured US soldier has been turned by al-Qaeda and represents a serious threat to a major US city. Cue credits …”

Lewis is also contemplating a return to the theatre – he last appeared on stage two years ago in a London production of The Misanthrope, opposite Keira Knightley – but he confesses to mixed feelings: “It is still the most terrifying thing, no question. There is always the thought that you might forget what you’re supposed to be doing and blank entirely. That’s my fear.”

For all that, he says: “I do have plans to go back on stage. I can’t tell you what the show is – except that it’s a musical. It’s not ‘al-Qaeda The Musical’, but it’s something equally improbable. It could be the end of my career!”

Read it all at the Scotsman.com.