Archive of films Born Equal / Born Equal

United Kingdom
2006, 100 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2007

A person is born free and with a right to dignity. Wealthy manager and father-to-be Mark (Colin Firth) sees on a daily basis, however, that not everyone is a child of fortune like himself and his prospective heir. He starts to have pangs of guilt… This is the third film to be screened in Karlovy Vary by the leading British director who last year came here to introduce his film Out of Control.


As in his previous films, Savage takes a critical look at the delicate theme of contemporary England, on this occasion examining social inequality. He originally planned a film about homelessness, but gradually found himself uncovering the problem as a serious hidden predicament of society. Here, too, he spent a lot of time studying the environment: he visited countless shelters and temporary accommodation facilities and assimilated the stories of dozens of desperate people. He set his story in a shelter for the homeless and other social outcasts seeking temporary asylum, where the lives of several characters experiencing deep crisis come together. Pregnant Michelle and her little daughter sought refuge from a violent husband, Robert has recently been released from prison, and journalist Yemi and his wife and child had to leave their native Nigeria in fear of their lives. Wealthy 40-year-old prospective father Mark (Colin Firth) feels shame and guilt in the face of those who have not shared his fortune in life. One day he starts a job as a “street worker”.

About the director

Dominic Savage (b. 1962, Kent) started in film in 1973 with a child’s role in Stanley Kubrick’s film Barry Lyndon. He graduated from the National Film and Television School in 1991 (specialising in documentary filmmaking) with the film Fly Me to the Moon. As a leading documentarist he earned recognition for his films The Outsiders (1999), Rough Males and The Complainers. Apart from documentaries for Channel 4, he also created the TV films Nice Girl (2000) and When I Was 12 (2001) for the BBC, based on his own screenplays – both won BAFTA awards. In the section Focus on British Film at last year’s Karlovy Vary festival, he introduced the film Out of Control (2002), awarded at the Edinburgh IFF as Best New British Feature. His feature debut Love + Hate (2005) was also screened in Karlovy Vary.


BBC Films
Grafton House, 379 Euston Road, NW1 3AU, London
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 207 765 0113
Fax: +44 207 765 0278

About the film

Color, HD CAM

Section: Horizons
Director: Dominic Savage
Screenplay: Dominic Savage
Dir. of Photography: Danny Cohen
Music: Rupert Gregson-Williams
Editor: David Hill
Producer: Ruth Caleb, Lucy Hillman
Production: BBC Films
Cast: Colin Firth, Robert Carlyle, Anne-Marie Duff, David Oyelowo, Emilia Fox, Nikki Amuka-Bird
Contact: BBC Films


Dominic Savage

Film Director

Ruth Caleb



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