Arts & Culture

Guardian Documentary: After Windrush – Paulette Wilson visits Jamaica, 50 years on

The latest Guardian documentary follows Paulette Wilson on her journey back to Jamaica for the first time in half a century.

A letter from the British government classifying Paulette Wilson as an illegal immigrant shook her sense of identity and belonging. “Hostile environment” policies years in the making meant Wilson and other victims of the Windrush scandal had their right to residency in the UK called into question. She had been detained for a week pending imminent deportation though she had done nothing wrong. It was devastating, but thankfully she was released before she was due to be deported.

Her story is just one of many personal stories revealed by Amelia Gentleman’s committed reporting of the Windrush scandal. Her journalism forms the basis of this documentary.

Around the time that the Windrush scandal was breaking, the executive producer Shanida Scotland was spending time at her grandfather’s sick bed in a hospital overlooking the Houses of Parliament. “He had been desperate for me and my brother to remember Antigua,” says Scotland. Gentleman’s reporting had a personal resonance for her as she reflected on her own family’s story, and on the life of her grandfather who was part of the Windrush generation.

Scotland was particularly moved by Wilson’s story and proposed that the Guardian film with her as she returned to Jamaica for the first time in 50 years. It was an emotional experience for them both.

Watch the documentary here

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