A NOTE FROM THE PRODUCER
Last summer, I made friends with a remarkable man. Perhaps the most remarkable I have ever met in my life, and I have always had the fine fortune of being able to attract the more colourful and the more redolent of pals.
One day, I will be able to tell the full story of how we met. I can say that we became friends, because of our common love of literature.
One day when I hope my friend will be a free man, able to return to his native land, unencumbered by the threat of prison until his dying day. His crime? Having helped those less fortunate, the disenfranchised and the beaten.
For the moment I can say this. He has opened my eyes to many issues, made me aware of those who stand up against abysmal leaders, vile laws and ruthless police are persecuted, left to rot in solitary confinement, forced into hiding, hunger strike or suicide. Not under despotic African or Middle Eastern regimes, but in my homeland of Britain and the United States.
He has agreed to give me exclusive access to tell his astonishing story in this film.
Friends, old and new, have helped in this process. Some will be in the credits, which I urge you to note. Others must remain in the shadows. The debt to them is no less. You all know who you are. My thanks are to your wisdom, generosity, friendship, ability to keep quiet, and for your childlike excitement and awe that we shared at discovering such an unruly, robust and wild rose growing between the city cracks.
I fear for my friend`s health every day for reasons I cannot say, but he is at risk as I write, and, likely, as you read. I hope this film will allow for the exposure and the forgiveness that will allow my pal to access healthcare before it is too late. It is the race against time that all great movies have at their core. I think of Van Helsing racing against a dipping sun.
Interesting dudes and astonishing cats shall continue to be met, I am sure.
But I shall never know his sort again.
Ian Thornton, novelist