Lennie James, Olivia Colman, Katie Leung, and Katharina Schüttler star in a remarkable four-part drama that connects the stories of four seemingly unconnected people...
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Illegal Chinese immigrant Ying is dependent upon Gao, brutal leader of the Snakehead gang, who sends her onto the streets of Brixton selling fake DVDs and various fenced items. When she fails to earn enough money, he rapes her in his car. Following a police raid on illegal immigrants, Ying flees. She finds sanctuary with Jamal, a kindly, divorced barber and stays with him in return for doing his cleaning. Whilst Ying is out, Gao and his thugs force their way into the barber shop, trashing it and assaulting Jamal. When Ying returns Jamal plans for them to go away together....
Ex-heroin addict Richard is determined to stay clean. After being hauled in for police questioning, thanks to a crooked friend, he misses his contact visit with daughter Sabrina. He learns from his ex-wife Yvonne that she and Sabrina are moving to Bristol, and that she is planning to deny him access to Sabrina. He asks his mother Pam to intervene but she is not keen to get involved. He finds an unlocked and abandoned car belonging to Polish cleaning lady Kasia, and persuades a mechanic friend, Zak, to buy it. When he returns to where he left the car, he finds that it has been towed away by the police...
Polish immigrant Kasia is informed that her boyfriend Tomek was killed by Carol's sons. He was also seeing another woman, lap dancer Tara. The two meet, and surprisingly become friendly towards one another. Tomek was also involved in a racket, whereby he and his partner Piotr, arranged sham marriages for money to give citizenship to illegal immigrants. Piotr tells Kasia that Tomek gambled away all his earnings and there is nothing for her. Kasia reluctantly agrees to marry Indian Rakesh in exchange for three thousand pounds but discovers a large cache of money hidden away in his house...