'Proverbs' is a contemporary drama made up of three short, interlinking stories, based on three individual proverbs. The stories are all set within the hidden world of people smuggling and the traps that desperate immigrants can find themselves fallen into. The film explores the powerful and the powerless and how this tragedy goes on just beneath the surface of our contemporary society. Each story strand looks at the issue from a slightly different perspective. Following a desperate young Chinese woman, a hopeful West African couple and a remorseful smuggling gang boss, the stories interweave and connect at various points, before each strand resolves, to various degrees of success and happiness. I find it scary how we are so often unaware of what is going on below the surface of our society and how so many people can become invisible and trapped, without much hope of help. The film reflects this as the stories are set within contemporary society; on our high streets and carparks, in suburban houses and local farms. But at the same time, the characters are completely separated from society and any protection it might offer them. Proverbs is a multilayered exploration of a modern injustice.
'Proverbs' is based on three separate verses; Proverbs 15:25, Proverbs 31:10 and Proverbs 22:22-23. Two of the verses speak specifically about exploitation, power and the abuse of it, whilst 31:10 reminds us that some things are worth more than wealth. Each of the proverbs speak clearly into our modern society and fit well within the world of people smuggling, which is all founded on the powerful abusing the poor and desperate. Slavery and exploitation existed when the Proverbs were written and they still do today. People smuggling is widespread, and with the ongoing refugee crisis it is growing. Every now and again we hear a report of illegal immigrants found suffocated in the back of a lorry, or drowned on a beach. But for the most part they are hidden, invisible. The Proverbs speak up for social justice and affirm that God is a God of justice and offers hope to those who are hopeless and forgotten. The verses also make us feel uncomfortable. When we sit by and turn our eyes away from the suffering of others. How complicit are we? Proverbs explores the wisdom of these ancient verses through a contemporary context.